Case Report

Developing Subcutaneous Emphysema, Pneumothorax and Pneumomediastinum after Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery under General Anesthesia: A Case Report


The use of arthroscopic shoulder surgery for diagnosis and treatment is increasing. Although some complications may occur during the operation, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax are rare complications. In this case, we present a patient who developed subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax. A 53-year-old female patient presented with right shoulder pain for 8 months. The patient's body mass index is 20. Additional diseases are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and vertigo. There was no other systemic disease or comorbidity. She was assigned an American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score of 2. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair was planned. She was operated under general anesthesia (GA). Subcutaneous emphysema, pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum developed at 6 hours after this surgery. The patient was discharged without any complaints on the 6th day of follow-up. No problem was detected in the follow-up of the patient. After shoulder arthroscopy under GA, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum can occur due to the procedure itself, the pleural and alveolar trauma, the endotracheal intubation or extravasation of irrigation fluid during shoulder arthroscopy. In our case, it was not possible to determine the exact cause. However, it is important to keep in mind that subcutaneous emphysema, pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum can occur after arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Although shoulder arthroscopy is a safe procedure, surgeon familiarity with the risk factors for this complication and close monitoring can aid in its identification and allow for appropriate treatment.

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IssueVol 9 No 1 (2023): Winter QRcode
SectionCase Report(s)
arthroscopic shoulder surgery rheumatoid arthritis subcutaneous emphysema pneumomediastinum pneumothorax

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How to Cite
Uslu A, Çekmen N, Leblebici F. Developing Subcutaneous Emphysema, Pneumothorax and Pneumomediastinum after Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery under General Anesthesia: A Case Report. Arch Anesth & Crit Care. 2023;9(1):67-69.