Lymphedema/Cellulitis

Posted by rosy33 @rosy33, Jan 29, 2020

I'm new to this disease, the calf on my right leg has been swollen for about 3 months but my doctor wasn't concerned until I broke out with cellulitis on my ankle which she then treated with an antibiotic. I also have Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy for the past 20 years in my feet and legs. She said the swelling was probably due to the neuropathy but it wasn't. I'm trying to find out any information on it through support from others. I belong to a support group on neuropathy where I have been helped by others with neuropathy, so much more than any doctor. I am grateful for the computer because without it I would probably be on all kinds of prescriptions which the doctors hand out so freely or maybe dead by now. I'm seeing a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) within the next couple of weeks, and hope it will help me to take care of this issue. I know we're supposed to keep the skin moisturized and wonder if anyone knows of lotion that will help. Thanks

@rosy33 Hello……I have lymphedema in my arms (due to lymph node surgery during breast cancer treatment) and I recently had my first bout with cellulitis (which unfortunately went into sepsis). What I have learned is that my lymphedema is much more concerning than I originally thought and although I had treatment for it and even a scar revision surgery to help resolve the problem, I am at great risk for cellulitis and the lymphedema is the culprit.
I had both physical therapy and massage therapy with a lymphedema specialist and am doing that again now. There are a number of simple massage techniques and exercises you can do yourself and there are compression, bandaging and devices and garments your physical therapist can recommend and have you use to keep your lymphedema in check. Unfortunately, lymphedema is still not fully understood, recognized or treated so I highly encourage you to get to a lymphedema specialist as soon as possible, read on line (there is a lymphedema support organization) and be really proactive. I wasn't careful enough and it's been a roller coaster for my health these past three months. Hugs and good luck!

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Thank you, Cindy, I will be seeing a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in a couple of weeks. I've googled lymphedema specialists near me and that's what I got. Are they different from a Lymphedema doctor? I can't seem to figure it out Do you have the name for any online lymphedema support groups? I don't see any when I google.

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@rosy33

Thank you, Cindy, I will be seeing a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in a couple of weeks. I've googled lymphedema specialists near me and that's what I got. Are they different from a Lymphedema doctor? I can't seem to figure it out Do you have the name for any online lymphedema support groups? I don't see any when I google.

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@rosy33 I'm sorry my reply is so late. I changed some of my settings on my computer to block some weird emails and now I don't get my Mayo Clinic updates, so I'm a little behind. I have not been able to find a lymphedema support group in my area either. It's a bit of a challenge but there is a lymphedema national support website. They may have some resources there. I am seeing a Physical Therapist who specializes in lymphedema and in the past I had a lymphedema massage therapist. As soon as the virus quits raging I hope to get back to some regular massage therapy in addition to my PT. I highly recommend regular massage therapy. It helped me a great deal when I was first dealing with this and then I backed up (bad idea). Lymphedema is a bit sneaky in that it seems to resolve and you think you're ok but it requires on going management. I learned that lesson the hard way. Good luck and hugs to you.

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I had an arthroscopy 8 weeks ago and still have significant swelling. Has anyone tried massage therapy for swelling?

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@sloops

I had an arthroscopy 8 weeks ago and still have significant swelling. Has anyone tried massage therapy for swelling?

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Hi @sloops, glad you are looking to therapy for your swelling. You will see that I moved your question to another discussion about lymphedema. I thought you would benefit from connecting with people like @cindyconstien, @cindylb, and @rosy33 who have tried massage therapy.

Have you consulted with your physician to make sure that is a good option? Have they checked for possible complications after the surgery first?

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Hi @sloops, I was diagnosed with lymphedema in my legs a few years ago and the cardiologist recommended that I wear 20 to 30 mmHg compression socks which provides firm compression on the calves and keeps the swelling down during the day.

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@sloops

I had an arthroscopy 8 weeks ago and still have significant swelling. Has anyone tried massage therapy for swelling?

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My hand therapist does lymphedema massage as part of her post-surgical therapy and scar management practice. When I had hand surgery last year, she was able to get the swelling under control and show me self-management techniques.

A friend of mine regularly has lymphedema massage. Her massage therapist trained her husband and her in a few basic techniques they can use when traveling, because a qualified lymphedema massage therapist can be hard to find and very busy.
Sue

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