Which physical signs may be present in lymphedema?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

A positive Stemmer sign (inability to pinch the dorsal aspect of skin between the first and second toes) may be elicited upon examination.

Other associated physical findings specific for the cause of secondary lymphedema and genetic disorders involving lymphedema may be noted upon examination.

Yellow nail syndrome, which involves the nails, lungs, and extremities, is a syndrome that has lymphedema as a component. [58]

Patients with congenital lymphedema may also present with recurrent cellulitis, papillomatosis, large caliber leg veins, and upsloping "ski-jump" toenails. [59]


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