Publication Details
R Barbieux, M M Roman, D R Y Penafuerte, O Leduc, A Leduc, P Bourgeois, Steven Provyn


Contribution To Journal


The purpose of this study was to lymphoscintigraphically assess the effect of skin mobilization, nonspecific massage, and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) on the root of the lower limb in patients with lower limb lymphedema. Lower limb root lymphoscintigraphical exams of 80 patients with lower limb lymphedema were analyzed. All patients underwent our stand 3 phase protocol and then were subjected to the 4th phase which included 3 subphases. Images were taken directly after the injection (subphase 1), after pinching and stretching the injection site (subphase 2), after nonspecific massage was applied to the injected site (subphase 3) and after manual lymphatic drainage of the injected site (subphase 4). The number of opened lymphatic pathways was analyzed and compared after and between each subphase (SP). SP 1 displayed open lymphatic pathways in 22 of the 80 cases (27.5%). SP 2 displayed newly opened lymphatic pathways in 48 of the 80 cases (60.0%). SP 3 displayed newly opened lymphatic pathways in 57 of the 80 cases (71.3%). Only 9 of these 57 cases did not show improvement following the next SP. SP 4 displayed newly opened lymphatic pathways in 60 of the 80 cases (75.1%). MLD improved the visualization of the lymphatic pathways in 48 cases (60%) compared to phase 3. MLD was the only technique to allow visualization of the lymphatic drainage at the level of the root of the edematous limb in 6 cases (7.5%). Physical therapy leads to a greater number of lymphatic collaterals opening in a region where no other complex decongestive therapy technique can be applied.

DOI scopus