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January 7, 1933


Author Affiliations

From the Circulatory Clinic of the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School.

JAMA. 1933;100(1):34-37. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740010036009

The management of thrombophlebitic edema due to thrombosis of the deep veins usually consists of immobilization of the patient for from four to six weeks with some elevation of the affected limb. Then the patient is allowed to get up with or without elastic support and exhibits in most cases first a cyanotic, later a hard, brawny, swelling of the limb, which is permanent. Collateral veins do or do not appear on the extremity, according to the extent of thrombosis into the tributaries of the femoral vein. These chronic edemas are, aside from the cosmetic aspect, a potential source of further trouble. Superimposed ringworm infections, thrombophlebitic ulcers, and flareups of lymphangitis or of the old thrombophlebitis may lead to a state of elephantiasis (fig. 1). In extreme cases nothing short of an amputation helps. In the milder cases, the edema does not progress, but there remains a permanent, nonpitting edema