Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of high protein fluid found just beneath the skin. Lymphedema results from insufficiency of lymphatic transport often caused by surgery, trauma, radiation or infection. In some instances people are born with abnormalities of the lymphatic system which is referred to as primary lymphedema.

Lymphedema may occur in any body part. Some early symptoms may include:

  • Thickening, typically in the arms or legs.
  • Tightness, swelling or thickening in any area of extremity.
  • Feeling of limb heaviness or aching of limb.
  • Clothing, shoes, socks and jewelry that may feel “too tight”.
  • When pushing on skin with finger, imprint is lasting.
  • Swelling that may or may not improve with elevation.
  • May or may not affect both limbs equally.
  • Discoloration, dry thick skin that does not respond to lotions.
  • Leaking of lymph fluid through skin.

Treatment at Specialty Rehab requires a physician's prescription. If you suspect you may have lymphedema, the first step is to see your doctor.