Lymphedema out of control after injury: I was diagnosed... - LSN


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Lymphedema out of control after injury

GabbiD44 profile image
17 Replies

I was diagnosed with primary bilateral lower leg lymphedema in 2018. I have controlled it fairly well with my custom flat knit compression stockings. Hower I in the past year I took a job that was much more sedentary, and found that my lymphedema was a little harder to control. (Puffiness in the ankle even after wearing compression).

This weekend I fell...hard. Did the splits with my bad leg going forward, hyper extended my knee, and strained my MCL.

Since then I can't get my leg swelling under control. I have started MLD treatment and have been keeping my leg wrapped to the knee. By the end of the day I can barely bend my knee. I think the lower leg wrapping might be increasing my knee and thigh swelling.

I see my lymphedema therapist on Thursday, and hopefully will be getting a pump eventually. But any other advice?

Picture attached of the back of my injured leg.

17 Replies
Lynora profile image

You still have an 'acute injury' so be kind to yourself. You will have added oedema on top of the lymphoedema - once the injury has resolved, you should find the added swelling abates, but it could take some time. Hopefully your MLD therapist will be able to speed things on. Do you have wraps at all? These can be helpful in this kind of situation.

GabbiD44 profile image
GabbiD44 in reply to Lynora

Lynora, thank you so much for your response. I have been wrapping to the knee for over a week. By the end of the day my knee is trobbing. I talked to my therapist today and she thinks wrapping to the thigh might aggravate my knee as well. She suggested patience, and to keep up with my ice and elevation as well as wrapping. I guess I will just keep monitoring it. Hoping the pump helps...and gets here soon!

Chocolate-e-clare profile image

Elevate and arnica

GabbiD44 profile image
GabbiD44 in reply to Chocolate-e-clare

Arnica? Never heard of it.

Anne16 profile image
Anne16 in reply to GabbiD44

Arnica is good for bruising. I have used it previously and it does help .x

frankem51 profile image

I wear full length hosiery fitted after a 3-week course of heavy bandaging, or decongestive therapy, which works very well in reducing the swelling. MLD, which just involves massaging the lymph nodes (as I understand it) does not work for me. You might want to see a doctor for the injury but I'm in the UK, where healthcare arrangements are different.

GabbiD44 profile image
GabbiD44 in reply to frankem51

Thank you for your response! This is my first experience with MLD. I do feel like it helps. Not sure I do it completely correctly in my own but I do appreciate the therapist doing it!

Chocolate-e-clare profile image

Chocolate-e-clare profile image

Arnica is one remedy for bruising. Your local pharmacy will have several creams that can help.

0tag0 profile image

Sorry to hear your problems. I have Lipoedema and Lymphoedema. Can you tell me about the "pump" as have not heard of this before.

shawnu profile image

Hi Gabby, I have left leg lymphedema which is well controlled. I also fell hard in the steam room at the athletic club. My foot immediately got a lump the size of an egg on the top. I put ice on it and elevated and it stayed the same so I gave in and went to the doctor. She was positive it was broken and it did hurt like heck but after multiple xrays, she finally concluded it wasn't broken. I was fairly certain it was a huge reaction due to that leg and foot being compromised with lymphedema. It took approx two months to settle back down to normal. In the meantime I continued to wear compression and ice and elevate.

I will say that I think wearing compression or wrap only to the knee is not a good idea. Your knee will blow up! I agree with another person that full length or pantyhose compression would be more effective and continue with the MLD.

Don't worry, you will get better :)


GabbiD44 profile image
GabbiD44 in reply to shawnu

Thank you for this advice! It sucks that it takes so long to recover! I have a pump consult on Thursday. I am currently wrapping (to the knee). I asked my MLD therapist about wrapping past the knee. She wants to wait and see. But I will ask about ordering compression garments past the knee.

Thank you!!

GabbiD44 profile image

Here is an update. On the encouragement of my PT I finally got an xray of my knee. Which has stayed swollen for thenlast three weeks and my range of motion is only about 50 degrees. According to the xray I have a broken bone at the top outer part of the outside part of my knee. I say an orthopedic surgeon who has ordered an MRI. He says activity as tolerated until then. I go on vacation next week which I am nervous about.

My lymph edema seems better controlled from ankle to knee. I have been compliant with wrapping daily and self MLD. I go for PT MLD 2x week. But that ends this week due to insurance. Depending on what the orthopedist says I will likely continue with PT to build up strength in my knee and surrounding muscles.

I had the consult with the pump people. That was intimidaging as heck. I had in my head that it was going to be leg compression. I hadn't considered it being up to the waist. Although I see the value of it, it is just an intimidating amount of tubes and wraps. It should get here in the next month. I hope it helps. Summer is always a hard time for me. My knee is still twice the size of my other one.

Thanks all for your support!

cathrynliz profile image

I have lymphodema in my legs. A few years ago I fell flat on my face and had a swollen knee that remained the same for about a year, although it did heal eventually. When I started using a pump a year or so later the pressure seemed too low. I increased it a bit and it seemed too tight on one ankle. I left it on for about 5 minutes anyway, telling myself that I needed to DO this and not avoid it. Now, two years later it still is sensitive and I very much regret using the pump that day. My doctor tells me that it is unlikely to heal after all this time. Please go slow and easy with the pump. We are more fragile than we realize.

GabbiD44 profile image
GabbiD44 in reply to cathrynliz

Thank you for this feedback!! My bruise has completely healed but my knee is still very swollen! I haven't gotten the pump yet but I will ask about it. I am supposed to start PT for my knee this week!

cathrynliz profile image
cathrynliz in reply to GabbiD44

Wishing you the best PT ever!

GabbiD44 profile image
GabbiD44 in reply to cathrynliz

Thank you! 🙏🙏🙏

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