lymphoedema - broken arm

after mastectomy in jan with axillary dissection, i’ve managed to break my arm (both in fact, but the mast side is the concern). had lumpectomy same side in 1991 w axillary dissecion and radiotherapy

wrist break is noe plated and will be in a cast for 4 wks approx
anyone had anything similar, any sggestions towards le prevention?
will contact bc nurse next also to see if they have comments


(moderator, not sure if right category, feel free to move)

Sorry I can’t offer you any advice but thought I would leave a mesage to say poor you - what horrible luck to have broken both arms. I hope you are on the mend soon and don’t have any complications.

Same here, sorry, hope you can avoid the lymphodema. I have 7% which is classed as mild and hardly noticable but was refered to a specialist nurse who gave me massage exercises and will be getting a compression bandage soon but not sure about that. Got a bit depressed at the thought of wearing it forever! She did say that if I massage regularly and lose weight (Ha!), this would help. and it seems to be doing just that.

I expect you are in plaster so massage may not be possible. You may be able to just massage the upper arm though? Was the skin broken? The biggest prob is infection, if no broken skin you may escape, lets hope so.

Heal well, and get back to normal soon.

Good luck


Hi Irene,

Try not to get too depressed about it. I have mild lymphoedema in my hand, and have a compression glove whch I wear when I am going to be doing something that I think will make it worse. For me that is cooking. So I keep my glove in the kitchen and wear it when making tea. It really helps and my hand is much better the rest of the time.

Hi Lyn,Sorry to hear about your rotten luck.I didn’t break any bones but I badly cut my finger not long after finishing treatment.It took so long to heal that I took myself down to A&E They x-rayed it and put me on a strong course of antibiotics(although there was no sign of infection) Seemed to do the trick though as thankfully I’m still lymphoedema free after 4yrs.


Poor you - with both arms out of action. However do you manage to get dressed, washed, do your hair etc. It was bad enough with one arm out of action.

I fell over and broke my wrist last year - and I have lymphodema. Arm was in plaster for 2 months. The hospital wanted to put pins in it but when they heard I had lymphodema they decided against it.

Then 6 months later they decided that I had ruptured my thumb in the fall and I had to have a tendon transfer operation on my thumb. This was on my lymphodema arm.

My lymphodema clinic told me to go for it and we could treat the lymphodema afterwards. They also said that the plaster would act as a lymphodema sleeve.

There were no major problems with my arm and everything now is nearly as good as new.

One good thing came out of it - I managed to pursuade my husband that I needed a new automatic car instead of my old manual one - so every cloud has a silver lining!

Christiane x

Thanks so much for all the comments, I feel a bit less like the lymphoedema is just bound to happen now. I’ve had the casts taken off both arms today, and I only have a splint on my right wrist - which is my mastectomy side. So now my left arm can move about a bit, I’ll start some gentle massage on the right arm. Unfortunately the break was bad enough that I’ve had to have plates in both arms, so I have some nice sympathy-inducing scars I can show off! as for how you get dressed etc - very, very slowly and with no buttons or zips! And only drinking with a straw, and eating is a pain in the fundament - so much so that I’ve lost about six pounds, which I could definitely benefit from.

The BC nurse has suggested booking me into the lymphoedema clinic once all the casts and swelling etc are gone, and they can assess if there is any change from pre-op - they did a complete measurement of both arms before my mastectomy, which I was very impressed by. The first time I had bc, back in 1991, they barely mentioned lymphoedema as a possible.