Pressure ulcers of the thorax after shoulder surgery

Ekavit Keyurapan, Samuel J. Hu, Richard Redett, Edward F. McCarthy, Edward G. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Of 896 patients having arthroscopic or combined arthroscopic and open shoulder procedures at our institution during a 10 year period, three sustained severe pressure ulcerations to the dependent, opposite thorax (one after an arthroscopic procedure, two after combined procedures). These three patients had an average age of 35 years (range 18-50 years) and an average operative time of 107 min (range 82-121 min). During surgery, each patient had an axillary roll (a bag of intravenous fluids) between the dependent thorax and the operative table. Immediate postoperative signs and symptoms included severe pain in the thorax of the nonoperative side and areas of full-thickness skin loss, and blistering. Biopsy of the lesion in one patient was consistent with skin pressure ulceration. At a minimum of 10 months of follow up, all three patients had recovered full range of motion and strength without skin grafting or additional surgery. The exact cause of these lesions is unknown, but we speculate that they resulted from a combination of the use of an intravenous fluid bag as an axillary roll, fluid between the skin and the roll, and friction from moving the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1493
Number of pages5
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Arthroscopy
  • Complications
  • Pressure sores
  • Shoulder
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Pressure ulcers of the thorax after shoulder surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this