Compression Stockings - Burn and Wound Clinic
Compression stockings help your veins work by putting mild pressure on your legs. This helps control the swelling in your legs. The special knit of a compression stocking has a “massaging” effect that helps your vein valves work to improve the return of blood to your heart. Controlling the swelling in your legs will be crucial to the complete healing of your wounds and preventing future wounds.
Measuring and Fitting
Compression stockings are measured to give you a proper fit and provide the correct amount of compression. If you have had a weight loss or gain, you may need to be measured again. Please notify the PT or OT if this is the case. A stocking that fits too tightly will cause numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain. If any of these symptoms occur, remove the garment and call your therapist or the clinic. A stocking that is too loose will have wrinkles and will be of little benefit to you. Inform the therapist at once if you think your stockings do not fit.
Wear and Care
Your stockings should be worn at all times (unless you have been told something else by your provider). They should be taken off each day for bathing. Put on a clean pair. If your stockings are off for any period of time, you must be in bed with your feet raised to prevent swelling. Stockings must be washed daily in warm water with mild soap. Do NOT use bleach, fabric softeners, or delicate washing products such as Woolite®. Rinse well with warm water. Using warmer water helps create better fabric “memory” so your stockings retain their shape and support. Squeeze to remove excess water. Do not twist or wring. Lay flat or hang to dry. Do not machine dry unless it’s on “Air Dry” cycle. It is a good idea to have two sets of stockings so that a clean set is always ready to wear.
Stockings that have holes or tears or are stretched out should be replaced. They will not provide enough compression. This can result in increased swelling and new wound formation. The lifespan of your compression stockings (when changing between 2 pairs) is about 6 months when worn daily. You will need to keep track of the age of your stockings. This may be done by writing the date you begin using them on the tag of the stocking with permanent marker or by writing in your calendar when you need to re-order (every 6 months unless you are told otherwise). It is your responsibility to re-order correctly. If you wait until your swelling increases, it is too late and your new stockings will not fit properly. Call the manufacturer (BioConcepts) directly at (800) 421-5647 to re-order. You will need to provide payment at the time of ordering. You may then submit your bill to your insurance company for reimbursement as appropriate. If you receive stockings in the mail that do not fit or are defective, they can be returned and replaced. Most companies do this free of charge if told of the problem within 7-10 days.
It Is Up to You!
If you wear the stockings as prescribed, your swelling should be controlled. This will continue the progress of your wound healing and prevent future wounds. Ordering new garments as prescribed will promote continued success.
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: 03/23/2012
Copyright © 03/23/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6784
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