When most think of lipedema, they think of the changes in size the body will go through as the disproportionate fat tissue accumulates. This fat tissue is disproportionate, as it typically builds up most around the lower extremities such as the hips and thighs. This change can hurt the way you think you look and harm your social relationships. However, lipedema can do much more than just harm your self-confidence. Lipedema causes arthritic symptoms similar to that of degenerative joint disease. This condition disables most individuals, causing them mobility issues.
Mobility causes stem from the fat tissue on the inner thigh puts pressure around the medial knee compartment. This increase of pressure will lead to acceleration knee joint degeneration that could require an eventual knee replacement. However, the buildup of pressure also applies further down the leg as well increased pressure on inner half of the leg lead to flattening of the plantar, foot, arch. The distal back of thigh and the back calf can also interfere with mobility even further by restricting the flexion (bending) of the knee.
One way that degenerative joint disease can impact your mobility is through causing a restricted range of motion. The range of motion in one’s legs is identified through a term called flexion, which is measured in degrees. An individual without lipedema typically has a full range of motion of up to 140 degrees. Individuals with lipedema can have a flexion reduced to only 90 degrees, considerably less than those without lipedema. The fat tissue around the knees can make full motion virtually impossible. This mobility issues from lipedema will persist even when a knee replacement is done, and you will not find much success without first dealing with the fat tissue.
Before a knee replacement can be completed, it is recommended that the fat tissue in and around the knee be removed with liposuction. Current procedures are now minimally invasive to ensure success and comfort of the patient. Once the fat tissue has been removed, the success of a knee replacement is exponentially increased. Reducing this fat tissue will also reduce the pressure on your knee and surrounding leg, leading to greater activities of daily living.
As you can see, lipedema impacts more just self-image; it can do irreparable damage to your knees and surrounding leg tissue. Seek out the treatment you need with lipedema specialists such as Dr. Wright. Your lipedema treatment plan can help you achieve greater mobility and reduce the impact lipedema has on your daily life. Contact us today!