Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists
Board-Certified Podiatrists, Foot & Ankle Surgeons & Board-Certified Wound Care Specialists located in Tamarac, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, & Boca Raton, FL
Lymphedema is a common problem that affects about 1 in every 1,000 Americans. Lymphedema occurs in people of all ages, but it’s prevalent in those overweight, elderly, or living with arthritis. At Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA, with offices in Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Boca Raton, Florida, the team of expert podiatrists provides prompt diagnosis and treatment for lymphedema. To receive all-inclusive care, book online to schedule an appointment or call the nearest office today.
Lymphedema Q & A
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a potentially serious medical condition that causes your arms and legs to swell. It usually occurs due to the removal of your lymph nodes during cancer treatment but can result from surgery or infection as well.
Currently, there’s no cure for lymphedema, but when caught early, it’s possible to both manage and treat.
What are the symptoms of lymphedema?
Lymphedema usually occurs in only one arm or leg. Common symptoms include:
- Swelling in the limb that extends to your fingers or toes
- A feeling of tightness or achiness
- Limited range of motion
- Recurring infection
- Hardening or thickening of the skin
Lymphedema affects everyone differently. For some people, swelling is minor and barely noticeable. Others experience extreme swelling that makes it difficult to move or perform routine tasks.
Is there any way to prevent lymphedema?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent lymphedema, but there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk. If you’ve had or are preparing to undergo cancer surgery, the team at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA, recommends:
- Protecting your arms and legs from injury
- Resting your arm and leg during recovery
- Avoiding heat on your affected limb
- Elevating your affected limb
The team also recommends avoiding tight clothing, like compression garments, and keeping your affected limb clean. Routine skin and nail care can significantly lower your risk of an infection or other more serious complications.
How is lymphedema diagnosed?
To diagnose lymphedema, the team at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA, reviews your health history and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle. If you’ve recently undergone surgery for cancer, the team has enough information to make a diagnosis.
If the cause of your lymphedema isn’t apparent, the team orders an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound. These diagnostic imaging techniques provide detailed photos of your lymphatic system and can pinpoint the underlying culprit.
How is lymphedema treated?
Treatment of lymphedema depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life.
Following a comprehensive exam, the team might recommend light exercises to encourage lymph fluid drainage, massage, or pneumatic compression. You might also benefit from wrapping the affected arm or leg. Bandaging the limb can cause lymph fluid to move back toward your torso.
If you have a severe case of lymphedema, the team might recommend surgery. Removing excess tissue from your arm or leg can reduce swelling and encourage your body’s natural healing process.
To learn more about lymphedema treatment, request a consultation at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA. Book online to schedule an appointment or call the nearest office today.
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