Peripheral edema is a common impairment after surgery, injury, and, in particular, total joint replacement surgery. Peripheral edema causes pain and tightness, as well as loss of joint motion; it inhibits muscle recruitment, and therefore impedes muscle strengthening and function. Additionally, the presence of peripheral edema slows the healing process and may result in an increased number of physical therapy visits. In other words, the prolonged presence of peripheral edema negatively impacts an individual’s ability to return to full pain-free activities.
The causes of peripheral edema can be very straight forward, such as in post-surgical edema. However, peripheral edema can also be caused by many systemic conditions. This blog-based course uses a case study of an actual patient to explore the variety of causes of orthopedic edema.
Continuing education credits
This course is acceptable for credit in most states for PTs and PTAs.