Lymphedema is an abnormality of the lymphatic system leading to excessive swelling/edema in arms, legs, or other body parts. For symptoms, visit the symptoms list on the bottom of this page.
There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary.
Primary lymphedema is caused by a dysfunction with the lymph transport system. There may be insufficient vessels, or the vessels may be weak and unable to cope with the load, or there may be a problem with the lymph nodes, usually affecting the lower limbs.
Secondary lymphedema can arise because of damage to the lymphatic system, like when nodes are removed in surgery or after radiation in treatment for cancer, or when vessels are cut or damaged in trauma or accident. For example: in cases of breast cancer where nodes are removed from the axilla (armpit), there may be swelling.
- Complete Decongestive Therapy
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage-Vodder Method
- Multi-layer Compression Bandages (Short Stretch Bandages)
- Compression Garment Recommendation
- Lymphedema Therapeutic Exercise
- Active/Passive Range of Motion/Strengthening Exercises
- Activities of Daily Living Training
- Education in Skin Care and Lymphedema Precautions
- Education in Self Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Appointment process with a certified Lymphedema Therapist:
- Make an appointment to discuss this with your primary care provider to discuss lymphedema
- Once diagnosed, ask your provider to write an order and fax to our office at 615/382-4275
- We will contact your insurance company for benefits and authorization (if needed)
- We will call you, the patient, to set up an initial evaluation appointment
- The Lymphedema Therapist will establish an individualized treatment plan for the patient
NorthCrest Lymphedema Therapy Clinic
480 NorthCrest Drive, Springfield, TN 37172
The symptoms of lymphedema often appear slowly over a period of time. Lymphedema is usually found in the arm and leg, but may occur in other areas of the body as well. Symptoms may include:
- Swelling (with or without pain)
- Even with elevation of the limb, swelling does not go down and remains constant
- A feeling of weakness, heaviness, or tightness
- Repeated infections in extremities
- Sensation of full or heavy feeling
- Decrease flexibility in the foot, ankle, and/or knee
- Skin texture may change by becoming hard and thick
- Pain, aching, or redness including fingers or toes
- Difficulty fitting into clothing due to swelling
- For example: socks will leave ankle creases, rings become tight, shoes are uncomfortable, blouses are tight around the arm, pants are tight in legs