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Noticed swelling and brown skin color after cast removal from broken ankle. Is lympho drainage recommended?

Dec 2012
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1694 Questions
My mother, age 80, bad circulation, broke her ankle and just had her cast removed three days ago.
Her foot and part of the lower leg are very swollen, dark brown and hot to the touch.
Would limpho-drainage be recommended? She will be starting exercise therapy next week.
Posted Sat, 16 Feb 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 4 hours later

Thank you for posting

If I take from your description, the fact that her foot and part of her lower leg being swollen, dark brown and hot to will be possible that she is having either a XXXXXXX venous thrombosis (formation of clot in one of her veins of the lower leg) or osteomyelitis (infection/inflammation of the bone and muscles surrounding the fractured ankle) or myositis (infection of the soft tissue area around the ankle fracture). In my opinion, i will discourage massage lympho-drainage and consider going to the ER. We could be dealing with a serious situation here and lympho-drainage with the poor circulation will aggravate the venous thrombosis (aggravate severe pain and problably contribute to a necrotic leg) or if infection worsen the pain. Dark brown does not signify a good prognostic factor. You will need to see the doctor as soon as possible.

Hope this helps and wish you the best
Dr Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed swelling and brown skin color after cast removal from broken ankle. Is lympho drainage recommended? 6 hours later
Thank you, doctor, this does help a lot.
I am not a native English speaker, could you please tell me what an ER is? Is it a special kind of doctor? I will call the hospital immediately but am not sure what specialist to ask for.
Have a good day,
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 11 minutes later

Sorry, ER = emergency room. You will need to consult with an orthopedic surgeon or traumatologist as specialist.

Have a good day.

Dr Nsah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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