The causes of ipsilateral arm pain were analyzed in a consecutive series of 38 patients with breast cancer. A lesion of the brachial plexus was diagnosed in 17 patients, of whom 8 had tumor involvement, 5 had radiation fibrosis, 1 had lymphedema entrapment, and 3 had a probable transient neuritis of the plexus. In four patients, a cervical radiculopathy was found; two of these patients had a Horner's syndrome. A carpal tunnel syndrome was seen in four patients and could possibly be attributed to lymphedema in two patients. In five patients, a pericapsulitis of the shoulder joint was seen. Seven of eight patients with a postsurgical pain had a neuropathic pain related to damage of the intercostobrachial nerve induced by a postaxillary dissection. These diagnoses probably indicate the most common causes of ipsilateral arm pain in breast cancer. A postaxillary dissection pain seems the most frequent type of postsurgical pain in breast cancer.

Additional Metadata
Keywords arm, brachial plexus neuritis, breast cancer, intercostobrachial nerve, neuropathic pain, Pain, posisurgical pain, postaxillary dissection pain, radiation fibrosis, radiculopathy
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/0091-2182(90)90008-S, hdl.handle.net/1765/76495
Journal Journal of Nurse-Midwifery
Citation
Vecht, C.J. (1990). Arm pain in the patient with breast cancer. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 5(2), 109–117. doi:10.1016/0091-2182(90)90008-S