Just got in a bandage, few questions: Hi, I have grade... - LSN

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Just got in a bandage, few questions

Blade1
Blade1

Hi,

I have grade 2 lymphedema of the leg. I am now in a bandage which I will wear for three weeks (with foam). I have a few questions:

1) Is an air walker machine a good form of exercise to keep lymphedema of the leg at bay?

2) Are alternatives to bandages appropriate? E.g. I've seen various straps that are marketed as bandages. Just wondering, and the pros of these is that they are easier to apply.

3) How easy is it to reduce foot swelling?

Thanks!

8 Replies
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All your points can be discussed with your therapist.

Hi GurdipS111 - yes, your therapist should be able to answer your questions. From a general perspective, in answer to your questions:

1) Most exercises are good for lymphoedema - movement is a great help to get the circulation flowing better.

2) Bandages are great for the initial phase of decongestion (reducing the size of your limb). There are alternative Velcro-wrap systems. Once you have finished your reduction phase, most people go into garments (sleeves or socks/stockings you pull on). Some people continue to wear the wrap systems.

3) Foot swelling - reduces easily in some people, and not in others. It's very individual. Hope you get great results quickly.

Hi there! I have leg lymphedema as well. I agree that these are great questions for your therapist but after a year of dealing with lymphedema here is my 2 cents. I wrapped for three weeks also before gettig fitted for custom flat knit socks. The standard sock didnt hold my swelling. It is definitely trial and error to see what works for you

The more you move the better. I have a sedentary job. And days where I don't get up and move are harder for me to keep the swelling down in my leg. I keep my affected leg elevated at my desk on a stool under my desk. That helps too. Drinking lots of water helps too. I have also heard water exercise is good but haven't gotten over my own hangups yet to try it.

Wearing bandages is cumbersome but is really the best for decongestion. I now wear custom socks all day every day, but in the summer when I struggle the most, I will still wrap with bandages at night. It actually feels great. I haven't tried the night velcro wrap you can buy. I might look into it before next summer. The rolling up of the wraps in the morning takes forever.

Good luck. This is manageble but it does take work to manage it. Your therapist will have good advice too but I really appreciate insight from people who are LIVING it. Best of luck!

Thanks guys.

I'm a little anxious about swelling of toes because of the risks it carries such as ingrowing toenails, etc.

BTW does anyone get their nails cut by a podiatrist only? I am considering this as my nails and feet have all sorts of issues and of course, with LE, there is higher risk.

Therapist said that as I have stg 2 LE (i.e. fibrosis), I need foam and thus bandages, but then there are bandage alternatives marketed so not sure if these work.

The bandage is only for three weeks (assuming I walk a lot etc to make it work). I changed my bandage today and with one day with the foam, the leg was a million times softer and I think even smaller! So I'm making good improvements, I hope!

GabbiD - sounds like hydrotherapy and I am considering this too.

Ditto other comments above.

It sounds like you’d benefit from daytime custom flat-knit or wrap garments and also night garments to address the fibrosis. Day and night garments work differently, since you’re not fighting gravity at night in bed and therefore the gradient compression is calculated differently.

Haddenham has a good (less bulky than others) daytime wrap system as an alternative to flat-knit garments . The Haddenham Easy Wrap is on FP10/NHS prescription. I really like that it’s low profile compared to other popular day wrapping systems which makes it easier to wear under trousers and shoes that aren’t 2 sizes bigger just to accommodate the wrap.

The Autofot is Haddenham’s new night time wrapping system, it’s lined with Mobiderm to target fibrosis. The arm Autofit is already on FP10 however the leg is not quite yet on prescription but is soon to be approved. There is nothing else on the U.K. night compression market (across all garment companies) like the Autofit. Moberm is excellent for fibrosis breakdown and recommended by many therapists to target fibrosis during night bandaging. However bandaging takes ages, the Autofit takes a fraction the time to put on.

Some therapists are completely unaware of the Autofit (perhaps as it’s newish) so you may need to bring it up with your clinic nurse/therapist. The Haddenham website has good videos etc to look at for both the Easy Wrap and Autofit.

Some Lymphies like the Jobst Relax night garment. I did not get on with it, even after they made two attempts to get it right for my measuremts - it kept slipping down my leg which others have also experienced and feedback to Jobst who say they are trying to improve it

Re foot swelling - this is a big trouble spot for me. Wearing a toe cap that extends up the foot (not only covering the toes) helps. I then layer my foot with an open toe garment which helps target my feet. I also have ankle pads sewn into my flat-knits as I also have loads of swelling around my ankles - ankle pads are very common for Lymphies with feet/ankle swelling.

Keeping your feet/lower legs elevated on a cushion or two at night is beneficial, and doing Lymphie feet/ankle exercises a few times per day helps. Your therapist can show you these if not already. Also doing Lymphatic abdominal breathing exercises a few tines per day helps as it draws lymph fluid up from your feet/legs to drain into your thoracic duct.

LE self-treatment is quite time consuming but worth it!

That's some fantastic information.

The affected leg is already a million times softer with just 2-3 days of bandaging with foam. Feels like there is no hardskin at all. I will of course have the therapist check for a professional opinion.

I am walking up and down the stairs to keep moving (no need to worry about shoes!).

I'll see what's recommended but can compression garments usually maintain the reduction? And for those with stg 1-2 LE, is a 100% volume reduction possible?

I had multi layered bandaging nearly 30 years ago and the swelling reduction (2 litres across both legs/ feet) has stayed off ever since. I wear grade 3 flat knit, made to measure on both legs, below knee. Actually I wasn't put into those straight after - I had all sorts of compression - I reckon I have had the made to measure for over 15 years.

I go to a podiatrist every 6 to 8 weeks and have done for years. I feel much happier with her cutting my toe nails and taking off my hard skin. I do trim my nails a bit between visits (usually once), but leave it mainly to her. Also I sometimes get corns and she is great for getting those out. Good foot maintenance, with a podiatrist, is a priority for me.

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