When Lymphedema impedes seating & mobility


Date: 4/22/20
Credit: .1 CEU
Presenter: Stephanie Tanguay, OT/L, ATP
Medical Terminology, ATP/SMS Prep Content, Intermediate



Lymphedema is much more than “excessive swelling of the lower extremities”. This diagnosis presents significant challenges for all aspects of mobility and activities of daily living. Many of the “bariatric” mobility devices are not adequate for consumers who have a diagnosis of lymphedema or elephantiasis of the lower extremities. Gaining a better understanding of these diagnoses, their progression and treatment can enhance the success of mobility prescription.
With regard to assistive mobility devices, proper measurement of and accommodation of edematous tissue is a necessity. The dimensions of support surfaces and the use of positioning components are of crucial importance. These devices can negatively impact the distribution of the interstitial fluids in the edematous tissue. Case studies will be presented to illustrate potential risks and complications of providing inadequate support & mobility devices. Evaluation and measurement techniques will be discussed and some positioning & mobility solutions will also be presented.
Learning Outcomes:
Participants will be able to list 3 requirements of positioning & support critically important for wheeled mobility prescription for consumers with diagnosis of lymphedema.
Participants will be able to describe at least 3 measurements specific to evaluation of lymphatic lower extremities.
Participants will be able to describe the general etiology of Lymphedema and list 3 possible long term complications which have a dramatic impact on mobility.

Stephanie Tanguay began her career as an Occupational Therapist with a decade of experience in spinal cord injury and seating & mobility. She also worked as a Rehab Technology Supplier for seven years. Since 2006 Stephanie has been the Clinical Education Specialist for Motion Concepts, a manufacturer of power seating systems and seat surface and back support products. She has presented on numerous occasions at ISS, RESNA, CSMC, and ESS and throughout North America.