Support Stocking Donning Issues

Many times you have heard us say, “Use lotion the night before, do not use lotion on your legs right before putting on your stockings.” Our opinion and our manufacturers opinion has changed on this issue. We asked you not to use lotion right before donning your stockings because many of our great customers wear garments with silicone bands. If the lotion gets on the silicone band, the band is likely not to keep the garment up and will allow it to slip down. There is a simple solution to this problem…dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub the band to remove the lotion. This should also be done about once a week to remove body oils from the silicone band which normal laundering will not remove.

Rod and I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days on one of the beautiful Florida beaches (before Hurricane Irene). Our time there made me much more aware of what some of my customers have been telling us. I don’t know if you are familiar with the weather in Amarillo, Texas. We are “high and dry”…the altitude is about 3,600 feet and our normal yearly rainfall is about 19.5 inches (not so this year). So when our clients complain that their stockings are so difficult to put on because it is so hot or hot and sticky, well, I felt most people have air conditioning so their house is dry. Ha! Ha! While we were on the beach the temperature was 100 degrees and the humidity felt as though is must be at least 90%! Nothing seemed to ever dry out (even in our room)! After I took a shower and attempted to put my 20-30mmHg pantyhose on, it was almost impossible! I did find it was much easier if I made sure I used lotion on my heels and feet first. It was a definite must to use my Sigvaris donning gloves (can’t live without them). The lotion allowed the stocking to glide more easily (if there is a more easily when it is that hot and humid) over the foot. Please remember the lotion or cream you use on your feet or legs should not contain any petroleum products. They can break down the elastin in your garment. If any of you have had similar experiences, please let us know by scrolling to the bottom of the blog entry to leave a comment. You can leave it as a guest and not have to log in.

Thanks,

Vanda

What a Difference a Compression Stocking Can Make!

 

What a Difference a Compression Stocking Can Make!

On Wednesday, May 25th I had a complete knee replacement and I would like to share my experience with you. I had put off my surgery for over year which caused extensive damage to the joint, and resulted in severe pain and difficulty walking. By the time I made my decision to have the surgery I was using a cane because I was afraid my knee would give out and I would fall. Probably the only way I was able to go so long was because I wore my 20-30 mmHg support pantyhose every single day.

My surgeon was awesome! I discussed my belief that everyone who has any type of knee surgery should come out of surgery with 20-30 mmHg thigh high support stockings on their legs not TEDS. TEDS are for patients in bed (non-ambulatory). Once the patient is able to go to the bathroom, a TED stocking does not have enough compression to increase the circulation and and keep the leg from swelling. The less swelling a patient has, the shorter the recovery period and the less likely they will develop a blood clot or other complications. He agreed with me, but said most patients were not willing to purchase the stockings and bring them to the hospital for their surgical procedure. Well, you know what I did! I went into surgery with one 20-30 thigh high stocking on my good leg and the other stocking attached to my bed waiting for the completion of surgery for it to be put on my surgical leg. Once again I will say my surgeon is awesome! It took one hour to replace the knee joint! I was in recovery for 2 – 2 1/2 hrs. During my surgery, they gave me a femoral nerve block. I was told they last about 48 to 72 hrs. Control of pain following surgery is a major step to recovery. The earlier a patient can move and start physical therapy, the shorter the length of hospital stay and the lower the risk of complications such as thromboembolic disease (blood clots) and infections related to hositalization. When I awoke in my room I was experiencing some pain, but a Norco (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) took care of the pain. Soon I was up to go to the bathroom and start walking using my walker that I had brought with me. When I was in bed I was on my CPM machine (a continuous passive motion machine constantly moves the joint through a controlled range of motion which is increased over time). Using a CPM machine helps insure you regain the full range of motion in your knee. I was also soon introduced to my “take home physical therapy”. The medical staff gave me no time for rest–ha! ha!

Would you believe, on Friday afternoon – 48 hours after my surgery, I was on my way home. Of course I was still wearing my stockings. Once home I continued my CPM (6 hours a day), wearing my stockings (after 2 or 3 days I changed back to my trusty 20-30 pantyhose which I could put on myself) and my take home physical therapy!

Some where about two weeks post surgical the walker went by the wayside and I picked up my trusty cane (still wearing my support pantyhose). By week three I was walking around the house without my cane and only used it when I went out. I was a bit late starting my physical therapy with a therapist– I started that in week four. By week six post surgical I was walking normal. Oh, did I say On June 6th, 11 days post surgical, I was back at work most of the day!

I suppose there is a moral to this story:

  • Keep your pain under control
  • Use your CPM machine
  • Do all your physical therapy
  • Wear your 20-30 compression stocking from surgery all through recovery period

Even now I have moderate daily swelling, but it does not hurt and has gone away the next morning. That is to be expected. What a difference compression stockings have made!

Vanda

Wear Compression Socks or Compression Stockings at Night

Wear Compression Stockings or Compression Socks at Night?

Customers often ask us about wearing stockings at night. I thought that might be a good topic to address for this newsletter. First and foremost, follow your physician’s orders. If he or she does not specifically tell you to wear them 24 hours a day, ask. You never know unless you ask!

After most surgeries a 15-20 or 20-30 compression is appropriate 24 hours a day. Remember, the purpose of TEDS or compression stockings after surgery is to prevent DVT, a blood clot which may occur in a deep vein after surgery. The DVT is caused because of inactivity and/or poor circulation. Therefore you want to wear the stockings 24 hours a day (changing when you bathe) at least until you return to our physician for your first check-up after going home. At your first check you should ask the physician how long you should continue to wear the compression stockings. If you have been in TED stockings until now, it would be a good idea to discuss with you physicians switching to a gradient compression stocking and what compression he or she wants you in. Remember only your physician knows what other diagnosis you may have such as uncontrolled cardiovascular insufficiency or kidney problems for which too much compression can be a contraindicated.

When I was first post surgical, I was not used to wearing compression hose at night and sometimes in the middle of the night I would have to get up and pull them off for a little while. I just had to “get some air” on my legs. When I got up in the morning I would put the stockings back on. It is better at this point post surgery to wear your stockings for part of the night than none at all.

If you are not in a surgical situation, wearing compression stockings at night may not be appropriate, unless your physician recommends you do so. Compression stockings are manufactured to work with the muscles of the leg to increase the circulation. At night, the leg muscles move very little and wearing a 20-30 mmHg compression thigh high or greater can cause muscle cramps (much as a low calcium level can). If a 20-30 mmHg compression stocking were worn 24 hours a day/7 days a week for a prolonged period of time, it could cause muscular degeneration.

I mentioned in an earlier email that I was still experiencing mild swelling after surgery. Well, as someone who is supposed to be an expert in the field of compression stockings, I decided I had to get the swelling down. I doubled my stockings during the day. I put a 20-30 mmHg Sigvaris EverSheer (love the Sensinnov band) thigh high open toe on my surgical leg and then a pair of 20-30 mmHg Sigvaris EverSheer Pantyhose with open toe over it. The open toe on both garments allowed me to make sure my toes did not scrunched or turn blue (make sure I continue to have good circulation). That evening my leg (ankle, calf and knee) was a little smaller. So that night I removed only the pantyhose and slept in the thigh high. Next morning, my surgical leg was almost the same size a my other leg. So I doubled the garments again the next day and I had even less swelling in the surgical leg that evening. Now, I do not recommend this for everyone because others may have contraindications, but for me it works. When I start to get some extra swelling, on goes the extra stocking and down comes the swelling. Again, it is always a good idea to discuss this first with you physician.

Patients with “Nocturnal Restless Leg Syndrome” sometimes get relief by wearing a knee high 8-15 mmHg compression sock such as a Jobst SensiFoot at night. The premises being that the low compression is a very gentle massage to increase the circulation and help relieve the crawling, tingling or itching which causes them to have to move their legs.

Remember, there is a time and a place for everything.

If your physician gave you directions about wearing compression stockings after surgery, at night or you would just like to make a comment, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading and leaving your comments,

Vanda