Effect of manual lymph drainage as described by Vodder on oedema of the hand after fracture of the distal radius: a prospective clinical study

Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg. 2000 Dec;34(4):367-72. doi: 10.1080/028443100750059165.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of manual lymph drainage, as described by Vodder, in reducing oedema in the hand after a traumatic injury. During a period of 10 months in 1996-7, a total of 26 consecutive patients with a fracture of the distal radius that was treated by external fixation were included in the study. Patients were randomised into an experimental (n = 12) and a control group (n = 14). Treatment started 11 days after application of the external fixator. All patients had the same conventional treatment with exercises, movement, oedema control, and education. The experimental group was given 10 treatments of manual lymph drainage in addition. Oedema was measured four times with the volumeter, and the injured hand was always compared with the uninjured one. The first measurement was made three days after removal of the external fixation. The difference in hand volume showed that the experimental group had significantly less oedema in the injured hand. This result indicates that manual lymph drainage is a useful method for reducing post-traumatic oedema in the hand.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radius Fractures / complications*
  • Treatment Outcome