Post-stroke edema of the paretic hand constitutes an additional, functional, and esthetic nuisance for the patient. Although often encountered in daily practice, it is not even mentioned in the stroke chapters of the various textbooks. The phenomenon is far from being elucidated and various aspects are still obscure. In this study we tried to estimate the extent of post-stroke hand edema (PSHE) in a sample of elderly patients. The study group consisted of 188 elderly post-stroke nursing patients with hemi or only hand paresis. Seventy, age matched, non-paretic patients were examined as controls. The basis of comparison was the difference in circumference between the two arms at three sites: mid-finger, hand, and wrist as measured in the control group. Values above two standard deviations (S.D.) of the mean difference in circumference of the controls, at two or three sites, were considered as edema. Edema of the paretic hand was detected in 37% of post-stroke patients. Most (about three-quarters), could be classified as simple PSHE, while the rest may have had reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
- Hand edema
- Post-stroke nursing patients
- Post-stroke symptoms in elderly