Pitting Edema

This is what my foot looks like when it's totally swollen up. It usually looks like this at the end of the day, even though the injury's about a month old now.

Background: I got a Lisfranc injury on my left foot about a month ago (read the first post of this blog to find out what a Lisfranc injury is)

Within five minutes of getting the injury, my foot had swollen up to about 2 or 2.5 times its normal size.  It hurt pretty badly, but felt more like a sprain than a break. I’ve had broken toes in both feet before that led me to have a walking cast, and this didn’t really feel like that.

The swelling didn’t go down for the next couple of days, and I started having a condition called “pitting edema,” in which fluid gathers between the cells and gives the flesh a sort of doughy texture that is moldable and will hold finger impressions for some time.

Here are some pitting edema pictures!

Pitting Edema After

After: This is what it looks like if you push on the swollen part. It'll hold the impressions for five or 10 minutes.


3 Responses to “Pitting Edema”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Have you tried static compression wraps on your edema. They seem to work well!

  2. Mark Says:

    I also have suffered a lisfranc injury. I am 1 month post surgery, and am suffering from pitting edema. Is there cause for alarm? Should I be concerned? Is there something I can do?Will it go away on its own? Thanks.

    • Chasews Says:

      Hi Mark,

      Pitting Edema does go away on its own. It happens because blood/fluid is leaking into the interstitial spaces in the area because of the damage to bones/muscle/capillaries in you’re foot. You can elevate the foot to let some of that fluid drain, but the edema will probably persist for a few months at least. Mine didn’t go away until I was completely finished with surgeries and all of my hardware had been removed.

      Stay happy! You had the surgery and that is the best thing you can do to deal with a Lisfranc injury. The edema and other side effects will decrease as time goes on. I walk totally normally now. I ride a unicycle most days. I can run, climb, jump, whatever. It will not always be this bad!


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