Lymphedema is swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Sometimes both arms or both legs swell.
Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. Resulting from a blockage in your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to swellingin the legs and arms..
There’s no cure for lymphedema. But it can be managed with early diagnosis and diligent care of your affected limb.
Lymphedema signs and symptoms:
Swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, including fingers or toes
A feeling of heaviness or tightness
Restricted range of motion
Aching or discomfort
Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis)
The swelling caused by lymphedema ranges from mild, hardly noticeable changes in the size of your arm or leg to extreme changes that make the limb hard to use. Lymphedema caused by cancer treatment may not occur until months or years after treatment.
Your lymphatic system is crucial to keeping your body healthy. It circulates protein-rich lymph fluid throughout your body, collecting bacteria, viruses and waste products. Your lymphatic system carries this fluid and harmful substances through your lymph vessels, which lead to lymph nodes. The wastes are then filtered out by lymphocytes — infection-fighting cells that live in your lymph nodes — and ultimately flushed from your body.
Lymphedema occurs when your lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain lymph fluid, usually from an arm or leg.
Leg and foot pain, no matter how mild, is not natural. If you are experiencing pain or noticing a change in your feet you should seek medical care right away. Early care can help prevent the condition from worsening. Contact Podiatry Group of Georgia today to schedule your appointment or book you appointment online.