Leg Ace Bandaging
After a burn injury or leg wound, wrapping the affected limb with ace wraps helps prevent swelling, pooling of blood, graft loss, and long-term change of color. The ace wraps may also prevent pain and itching by giving support and pressure over areas of swelling and scarring.
How to Apply Ace Wraps to the Legs
1. Use a 4 inch ace bandage for the foot and lower leg. A 6-inch ace bandage might be best for adult thighs. (In children and smaller adults the width of the ace bandage will be chosen based on the size of the child). Start the ace wrap at the top of the foot, just below the toes. Wrap over the top of the foot and around the back of the foot. This will secure the ace bandage and prevent the ace bandage from riding up the leg.
2. Pull the ace wrap diagonally, not at a right angle to the leg.
3. Wrap up the foot diagonally, reversing the direction with each turn.
4, 5 Keep wrapping in a criss-cross pattern, adding the most pressure as you wrap up the foot, toward the ankle.
6,7,8. As you apply the ace wrap around the ankle, begin to move up the leg, using the same technique. Apply less and less pressure as you move up toward the body.
9,10. Keep wrapping up the thigh and secure the end of the ace wrap with metal clips or tape. Check the toes to see if they are pink and warm. There should not be any numbness or tingling. If the toes become paler, cool, numb, or tingle, the ace bandage may be too tight. Remove and rewrap the ace bandage to apply correct pressure without cutting off the circulation.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/06/2012
Copyright © 04/06/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4406
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