Are your legs, ankles, or feet swollen and painful? Lymphedema, which occurs when fluid collects in the feet or legs, is one of the many conditions treated by Dr. Todd Mann at AHP Foot & Wound Care Specialists in Indianapolis. With expertise in podiatry and wound care, Dr. Mann helps men and women with this grave and debilitating ailment. Since it’s vital to treat lymphedema before it worsens, book an appointment with Dr. Mann's team today.
Lymphedema Q & A
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a condition that’s characterized by swelling in the extremities, often in the legs, ankles, or feet. It usually appears in one leg or foot, but can affect multiple areas of your body at the same time.
Primary lymphedema is an inherited condition where there is an abnormality in your lymph function, while secondary lymphedema — the more common form — happens when there is damage to your lymph vessels.
What are the symptoms?
Lymphedema can cause several different symptoms in your body, some of them more noticeable than others. These may include:
- Swollen ankles, a swollen foot, or leg swelling
- Thickening, scaling, and drying of the skin on the legs and feet
- A sensation of heaviness or tightness in the foot or leg
- Skin redness or puffiness
- Inability to see veins or tendons in the area you’re experiencing symptoms
- Rash or fungal infection
- Decreased flexibility of the ankle, leg, or foot
- Wounds on the legs
As the condition worsens, you may notice that the swelling increases or that your skin becomes lumpy, cracked, or sore. You might also lose some mobility in the affected area.
What causes lymphedema?
While primary lymphedema is a condition you’re born with, it’s rare. Secondary lymphedema is the most common variety and is the result of an injury to the lymph system.
Common causes of secondary lymphedema include surgical treatments that require removal of lymph nodes, radiation treatment for cancer, obesity, circulatory diseases and any type of trauma to the lymphatic system.
How is lymphedema treated?
Dr. Mann may suggest a number of different approaches to treat lymphedema, including:
- Compression socks or stockings, which help to improve and distribute blood flow evenly
- Manual lymphatic drainage, which involves massaging your affected skin
- Medication to help reduce fluid build-up
- Exercises to help reduce swelling
- Use of a compression pump, which helps to control swelling in the legs and feet
In addition to the treatment for lymphedema that Dr. Mann prescribes, proper skin care of your feet and legs is also important for recovery.
To find out if you’re suffering from lymphedema or to get started on a treatment plan, book an appointment today.