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MILK LEG





Category: Obstetrics or Midwifery

This is due to infection. It usually arises from an extension
of a blood clot (thrombosis) of the womb or pelvic veins, to the thigh
(femoral) vein, resulting in a partial or complete obstruction of the
vein. It may come in less frequent cases, from a lymphatic infection.

Symptoms. They may develop at any time between the tenth and thirtieth
days or even later. These are general feelings of weariness, stiffness and
soreness of the leg, especially when it is moved. There may first be pain
in the region of the groin; or pain from the ankle to the groin and
followed by swelling. The skin of the leg becomes markedly swollen, white
and shiny. Later there is pitting on pressure, but not at first, because
the skin is extremely stretched. Fever may accompany the attack, but it
will subside long before the swelling of the leg has disappeared.

The vein may be felt as a hard lash-like cord, a red line of inflammation
marking its course along the inner and under side of the thigh. The
disease may last weeks, depending upon the severity of the trouble. The
affected leg is disabled for a number of months after recovery. Recovery
takes place as a rule. Absorption of the clot takes place, or the vessel
remains closed, and another (compensatory) circulation is established.



Treatment. The patient should lie in bed with the leg elevated and
swathed in flannel or cotton wet with some quieting lotion. The following
is a good lotion:--

Compound Soap Liniment 6 ounces
Laudanum 1-1/2 ounces
Tincture Aconite Root 1/2 ounce
Tincture Belladonna 1/2 ounce

Wet the flannel or cotton with this. After the acute symptoms have passed
the following ointment may be put on the leg:--

Ichthyol 45 grains
Iodide of Lead 45 grains
Chloride of Ammonium 10 grains
Alboline 1 ounce

The parts should not be rubbed lest a clot be loosened and travel in the
general circulation and thus endanger life.

Diet. Should be supporting. Salts for the bowels.






Previous: CONVULSIONS. (Eclampsia)



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