An increase in volume of a limb can be due to many causes which have in common the existence of local edema which corresponds to the presence of fluid outside the vessels that leads to increase the size of the entire leg its length or only in its lower part.
According to other signs that occur at the same time as the increase in volume and taking into account medical history, i.e. history, it is possible to be directed to a particular origin of edema:
- Though there are erysipelas fever,
- Phlebitis in poor circulation or recent surgery or prolonged bed rest,
- Venous insufficiency in women with heavy legs, or
- Lymphatic compression (lymphedema).
What is erysipelas?
Erysipelas is an infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
Erysipelas is usually the bacteria streptococcus type, but it can also be related to a staph infection.
The erysipelas of the leg is manifested by a hot leg red, increased in size, painful, sometimes with a node in the groin. Mild fever often accompanies the table.
It is possible to detect the “gateway” through careful examination. Indeed, it is often through small sore toes or between the toes or the area around the nail that the infection has spread.
This type of infection occurs more easily in people with diabetes, venous insufficiency or lymphedema. Antibiotic treatment is necessary to avoid the risk of deep tissue infection.
What is phlebitis?
Phlebitis is the formation of a clot in a vein associated with inflammation of the vein wall.
If phlebitis is located in a deep leg vein circulation is no longer and there is excessive pressure upstream of the clot.
The affected leg increases in volume, becoming a little warmer locally. Phlebitis is usually painful spontaneously or on palpation.
Without anticoagulation, phlebitis gradually expanding and a clot can migrate to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymph fluid in the tissues.
Its volume is variable and its causes are multiple.
Primitive lymphoedema, which we do not know the cause, can occur at any age of life: congenital, early, late.
Secondary lymphedema is associated with a specific cause: pelvic surgery, lymphatic obstruction (tumor barrier), tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, cancer, infection by a parasite (wired).
The treatment requires above all the realization of compression (bandages, stockings, tights) and the realization of lymphatic drainage.
Sometimes it can be associated with a diuretic.