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Questions from a newbie

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:01 am
by judy din
I've recently had physical therapy for newly diagnosed mild foot and lower leg lymphedema, and had a lymphoscintigraphy last week. The physical therapy consisted of massage, using a pump, and wrapping the leg up to the knee for between visits. After about five weeks the swelling went down considerably, and now I wear a knee-high compression stocking during the day. My therapist believes that wrapping was the most effective part of the treatment.

The lymphoscintigraphy showed that there was slowed movement of lymphatic fluid on the affected leg, meaning a general insufficiency in the lymphatic vessels, especially in the foot, but no blockage. It's not known if this is primary lymphedema or caused by an injury (any ideas on this would be welcome). This is what my primary care physician told me, from the radiologist's report.

I'm wondering if it is worth it to contact a vascular surgeon to provide me with more details of the scans. Is it likely he would provide me with more useful information, or just a repeat of the general information I already have? Does the presence or non-presence of a blockage affect treatment or outcomes?

I have some other questions just out of curiosity, and I'm hoping people will take them in good spirits.

My therapist says to take off the compression stocking when I sleep. What happens when I wear the hose taking a nap? What if I fall asleep (horizontally) wearing the hose? Is that harmful? Is it harmful to wear the hose for longer than a day and night, aside from cleanliness issues?

I've had athlete's foot for longer than I can remember, and over the counter treatments give only temporary relief. Lately when I've used ointment between my toes, my swelling has flared up. Why is this? Could athlete's foot have contributed to lymphedema, and now, what alternatives are there?

Thanks go to anyone answering these.


Judy

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:42 pm
by joanne johnson
Hello Judi
Welcome to the group! You will acquire a wealth of information from Pat , who knows more than all of us put together and the other lymphedema people who all basically share the same experiences, both good and bad.

I imagine that your therapist just meant about taking off the hose when you retire for the evening and go to bed for the night. To rest for awhile I wouldn't think cause cause you any harm.

The other thing I wanted to mention that with athlete's foot it is better to use a powder rather than a cream. You want to keep it dry between your toes. Dark and moist is a bad combination for fungal infections. I have had a problem with broken skin between my toes that never clears up despite what I use and that introduces bacteria that leads to the dreaded cellulitis infections. The best of luck to you!