Rotator cuff tendonitis in lymphedema: A retrospective case series Journal Article


Authors: Herrera, J. E.; Stubblefield, M. D.
Article Title: Rotator cuff tendonitis in lymphedema: A retrospective case series
Abstract: Herrera JE, Stubblefield MD. Rotator cuff tendonitis in lymphedema: a retrospective case series. To report rotator cuff tendonitis as a complication of lymphedema and to discuss the possible etiology and treatment options. Retrospective review of 8 cases. University hospital outpatient clinic. A total of 8 breast cancer patients with a history of lymphedema and ipsilateral shoulder pain. Patients with lymphedema and ipsilateral shoulder pain were diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis if all of the following 3 tests were positive: supraspinatus test, Neer's impingement test, and Hawkin's impingement test. Patients diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis were prescribed a nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and physical therapy (PT). Improvement in symptoms of shoulder pain at a 4- to 6-week follow-up, as measured by visual analog scale (VAS). Seven of 8 patients reported a subjective decrease in their symptoms of shoulder pain at a 4- to 6-week follow-up. The average improvement in shoulder pain as measured by VAS was a 4.5-point decrease from the original pain score given. One of 8 patients had a full-thickness supraspinatus tendon tear and required additional decongestive therapy and PT to obtain relief of symptoms. Rotator cuff tendonitis is a complication of lymphedema caused by internal derangement of tendon fibers, which may be subject to impingement, functional overload, and intrinsic tendinopathy. Conservative treatment with NSAIDs and PT is a safe and effective treatment. © 2004 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Keywords: adult; controlled study; treatment outcome; aged; aged, 80 and over; middle aged; retrospective studies; review; anamnesis; drug efficacy; drug safety; combined modality therapy; follow up; breast cancer; breast neoplasms; retrospective study; lymphedema; prescription; symptom; nonsteroid antiinflammatory agent; anti-inflammatory agents, non-steroidal; scoring system; pain measurement; rehabilitation; university hospital; analgesia; visual analog scale; physiotherapy; muscle cell; physical therapy modalities; shoulder pain; tendinitis; decongestive agent; rotator cuff; tendonitis; tendinopathy; humans; human; female; cuff, rotator; rotator cuff rupture
Journal Title: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume: 85
Issue: 12
ISSN: 0003-9993
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Co.  
Date Published: 2004-12-01
Start Page: 1939
End Page: 1942
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2004.06.065
PROVIDER: scopus
PUBMED: 15605330
DOI/URL:
Notes: Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. -- Cited By (since 1996):11 -- Export Date: 16 June 2014 -- CODEN: APMHA -- Source: Scopus
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