domingo, 20 de mayo de 2018


Lymphedema is an inflammation of limbs or parts of the body due to blockage of the lymphatic system. It is usually due to consequences such as surgery on lymph nodes, cancer, radiation treatment, repeated infections, birth related oedema, chronic venous insufficiency, traumas, etc.

The edema can be very mild and hardly noticeable or prominent with difficulty to use the swollen limb. National Social Security Administrations, evaluate the medical impairments that qualify for disability benefits. Lymphedema is consequence of an organic impairment that also produces a consequent physical and functional limitation. Even after reduction treatment and the use of compression garments, the underlying organic lymphatic impairment still persists, and over-stressing tasks will contribute to worsening the condition. Lymphedema is a chronic life-long disease. People suffering from lymphedema may be eligible for disability and inability to work recognition, when the condition affects their personal, family, social or work level.

Lymphedema as well as Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), have symptoms that clinically equal in severity. Venous and lymphatic insufficiency occurs when veins and capillaries are blocked or damaged, and blood or lymph builds up and pools in the limbs. The resulting chronic and progressive edema, can make walking for legs and movements of arms, difficult to undertake some jobs and everyday tasks. Lymphedem can also cause joint dysfunction to limbs, and depending on body parts affected, makes it difficult to move, walk, or inability to use hands effectively. The medical recommendations for lymphedema and CVI are essential, for they are thus to prevent the progression of the disease, and can represent in themselves causes and factors of disability recognition.

Lymphoedema can significantly restrict carrying out activities of daily living (ADL) and work (lifting weights, over-stressing jobs, doing tasks that require keeping elbows or knees bent, prolonged sitting or standing), etc. With reference to work inability, in many cases lymphedema can condition and may not permit an active working life, in the same circumstances as healthy people or without a disability.

If lymphedema affects legs, the RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) assessment may restrict the kinds of work that involve lifting weights, standing or sitting for long periods of time, walking, kneeling, or remaining in one position for certain periods of time. If lymphedema affects arms, the RFC assessment may limit the kinds of work that involve lifting weights, writing or typing, pushing, grasping, or anything else that requires fine movements of arms or hands. Extreme temperatures must be avoided for all lymphedemas.

It is very important to access assessment by experienced disability lawyers, that know how to focus lymphedema symptoms and impairment to qualify for disability benefits. Sometimes the process for disability and work inability recognition is long and tiresome, and usually denied the first time, but patients should strive for a just recognition of their personal, social and work limitations.

References of interest:

Lymphedema and employability

Work with cancer-related lymphoedema

Chronic oedema/lymphoedema: under-recognised and under-treated.

Disability and lymphedema

Lymphoedema Disability Questionnaire (Lymph-ICF)

Lymphoedema Disability Questionnaire for Lower Limb Lymphoedema

Facts about lymphedema and filing for disability

Chronic venous disease (CVD), a common cause of lymphedema

Guía de valoración de incapacidad laboral para linfedema

Cáncer de mama y discapacidad. Criterios de valoración y controversias médico-legales

Invalidez y linfedema Lymphostatic edema


SPANISH: Trabajos que pueden agravar linfedema / Reconocimiento discapacidad.

GERMANArbeitsplätze, die Lymphödeme verschlimmern können / Anerkennung von Behinderungen.

FRENCH: Les travaux qui peuvent aggraver le lymphœdème / Reconnaissance du handicap.

ITALIAN: Lavori che possono aggravare il linfedema / Riconoscimento della disabilità.

PORTUGUESE: Obras que podem agravar o linfedema / Reconhecimento de deficiência.

RUSSIAN: Работы, которые могут усугубить лимфедема / Признание инвалидности.

CHINESE: 可加重淋巴水腫的作品 / 殘疾承認 / 残疾承认

JAPANESE: リンパ浮腫を悪化させる可能性のある作品 / 障害の認識

KOREAN: 림프 부종을 악화시킬 수있는 일 / 장애 인식

ARAB: الأعمال التي يمكن أن تؤدي إلى تفاقم وذمة لمفية / التعرف على الإعاقة

SWEDISH: Arbete som kan förvärra lymfödem / Funktionshinder.

DUTCH: Werk dat lymfoedeem kan verergeren / Handicap erkenning.

FINNISH: Työ, joka voi pahentaa lymfedeemista / Vammaisuuden tunnistaminen.

GREEK: Έργα που μπορούν να επιδεινώσουν το λεμφοίδημα / Αναγνώριση αναπηρίας.

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