Lymph drainage in patients with joint immobility due to chronic ulcerated lesions

Phlebology. 2008;23(1):32-4. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2007.007012.


The fibrous process of chronic ulcerated lesions of lower limbs can impair the mobility of the affected limb. The aim of this work was to assess the benefits of lymph drainage in patients who suffer from this disease. Twenty female and five male patients with ages ranging from 53 to 69 years (mean age 60.6 years) were evaluated. All had a history of at least 10 years of varicose veins and/or ulcerated lesions of the lower limbs with initial dermatofibrosis, with the positive Godet sign during the physical examination of the limb. Patients with intermittent claudication, diabetes and trauma were excluded from the study, as well as patients with chronic dermatofibrosis, and in whom positive Godet sign was not seen. Patients with immobility or very limited movement of the ankle and with some limitation in the toe joints were selected. The patients were randomly divided into group A comprising 15 individuals, and group B 10. All the individual treatments were established before the start of the evaluation period. Lymph drainage was performed on the patients of group A four or five times per week. Group B was subjected to a type of massage for the same period and at the same frequency. The mobility of the ankle joints was evaluated using goniometry before the start and after 30 days of treatment. In all the patients who underwent lymph drainage, an improvement of the joint mobility was seen, whereas in the control, group B, there was no obvious change. In conclusion, lymph drainage gave an improvement in the mobility of the ankle joint after impairment due to initial dermatofibrosis in patients with chronic ulcerated lesions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drainage / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / etiology*
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Joint Diseases / therapy
  • Lymph*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Varicose Ulcer / complications
  • Varicose Ulcer / physiopathology
  • Varicose Ulcer / therapy*