Surgery on "taboo" arm

KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
Just wondering if anyone has had experience with the need to have orthopaedic surgery on the arm that had most lymph nodes removed at time of mastectomy? 
I also have mets in my sacrum. My last breast surgery (both have been removed) was 2011. 



  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 2,379
    Kathleen I was clever and fell and broke my affected arm ... all nodes removed suffer from lymphodema in that arm...
    I can tell you that it was not a nice experience for me took months for me to heal and also to gain a bit of control over the lymphodema.
    For me it was a plate and pins and about 3months in a cast as not healing well at the time. 

    Hope this helps 
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    O dear. Mine is repair or rotator cuff tendon. I will be in a sling and unable to drive for a month. 

    I am going to try & get to a pool to work it a bit before the surgery. 

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,942
    No experience with this, just wanted to wish you good luck. 
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    Thanks, that's good of you. Will try & keep up with info & post it here
  • fairydustfairydust Member Posts: 290
    @Kathleen Taylor it will be good to get your shoulder back. I also have shoulder motor cuff probelm. Luckily slowly in time it is improving.  Very painful at times. I was warned if it didnt improve surgery was likely.
     I am glad you will be getting some relief from your shoulder. I found my physio was good . She also encouraged me to see her infrequently as over time ......only for some it improves . Good Luck it will be worth it.
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    Thanks fairydust! I just hope it won't cause lymphodaema. Will discuss it at next oncology visit. 
  • Michelle_RMichelle_R Gold Coast QldMember Posts: 891
    Hi Kathleen, I have the same problem and will be very interested to hear how you go!  5 years ago the Orthopaedic Surgeon advised a shoulder replacement due to damaged rotator cuff, torn tendon, and bone-on-bone arthritis. Then breast cancer happened and it was all put on hold for 5 years.  Physiotherapy with stretch bands helped initially, then bc exercises, but now I am looking at surgery to fix it once and for all.  My GP advised me to hold off awhile as there is amazing stem cell research going on.  Meanwhile I cope very well - guess I am used to it after all this time and make allowances!  Which state are you in?
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    Hi Michelle
    This has happened & been diagnosed since my breast cancer diagnoses & surgeries in 2010/11. The orthopaedic surgeon suggested a repair; the tendon is torn from one side to the other. 

    Will keep posting
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    Ps: I am in Victoria
  • Michelle_RMichelle_R Gold Coast QldMember Posts: 891
    I have a new referral to a shoulder specialist OS.  Haven't made an appointment yet, but will keep in touch. Sick of not being able to lift my arm fully, but thankful it is the left arm!
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,974
    It shouldn't be an issue but you will take a little longer to heal and you will need to massage that arm to make the lymph move out. What about asking your physiotherapist for one of those pressure sleeves to wear? Then you wouldn't have to really worry too much about the arm swelling at all. You might need someone to help you get it on and off at first.
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    Thanks Brenda! Great idea re sleeve. Am having physio already, so will ask. Also having my GP write a letter to orthopaedic surgeon, noting that the procedure is to be done on affected arm. Will keep everyone in the loop. I really appreciate your input. 
  • BoraBoraBoraBora Member Posts: 40
    My OT showed me a plastic device for putting sleeve on-works a treat. Don't know how many times I smacked myself in the mouth over the years putting one on and losing my grip!
  • KathleenTKathleenT Member Posts: 116
    Thanks! Will check it out. 
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