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Circumferential Measurements For Lymphedema

Written by Amy Hall
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Taking Circumferential Measurements for Lymphedema

Circumferential measurements for lymphedema are taken to get the best fit when you are buying compression garments. When you are ordering ready-made or made-to-measure, it is imperative you have the correct measurements. Less measurements are required for ready-made, but you will still need the circumference of the basic landmarks (the same landmarks used when measuring for compression garments for lymphedema.)

When measuring for a ready-made arm sleeve you will need three circumferential measurements unless the forearm or bicep is abnormally shaped. Don't pull the tape enough to make an indentation in the skin, just lay the measuring tape around (1) the wrist at the smallest point (least wrist), (2) a slightly bent elbow at the smallest point (least elbow), (3)the armpit (axilla) at whatever point you want the liner to end. You will also need the length of the inseam. . .measure from the (1) least wrist to the (3) axilla with the arm down at the side.

The More Information the Better

If you have determined your patient will not fit in to a ready-made sleeve, use the made-to-measure ordering charts and fill it in as completely as possible. The more information you can provide now the better the fit will be later. When measuring for a ready-made full-length leg liner, you will need five circumferential measurements.

You will need (1) the ball of the foot, (2) the least ankle, (3) the widest calf, (4)the least knee, and (5)the top of the leg at the groin. To determine the appropriate length you must measure the inseam, (with patient standing) or the point on the inside of the leg from the groin (or whatever point you want the garment to stop) to the floor. It is important that circumferential measurements for lymphedema are as accurate as possible, because the accurateness of your measurements will determine the fit and comfort of the garments on your patients.


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