Lymphedema is the disruption of normal drainage of fluid through the lymphatic system. Lymphedema presents as abnormal swelling that is greater in one limb than in the other. While there is no cure for lymphedema, the condition can be managed through a combination of early detection, clinical treatment, education, and home management.
In the early stages of lymphedema, when very mild selling is present, the condition is managed by compression garment wear, exercise, and elevation. If the condition progresses, physical therapist management may include:
- Manual lymph drainage
- Compression garment wear following lymphatic drainage
- Ski care
- Patient education for proper diet, ways to reduce risk of injury and infection in the effected extremity
- Garment fitting
FRHS HealthWorks Rehabilitation and Cancer Care Center are working together to screen at risk patients for lymphedema. If lymphedema is detected, a certified HealthWorks therapist will assist the patient in the treatment and management process.