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Do I need to wear compression hose if I have deep vein thrombosis?

This question was asked in Brooksville, Florida and has 3 answer(s) as of 10/05/2012.
I had a stroke 6 months ago and 4 weeks after, I had unbearable pain in my left leg, mostly in the calf. I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and I was told to wear compression hose. I have been, but it is time to replace them. The swelling has subsided along with the terrible pain. When I walk I get a small amount of pain, but not like it had been. Recently I was told I had type 2 diabetes. Does this make a difference in the socks and is this still a recommended treatment? Do I wear them all the time? While walking and while sitting? Can I go without them for a short period of the day or skip a day, once a week?


Doctors Answers (3)

Every DVT case is different. If a single DVT has an identifiable trigger which is later removed, long-term stockings may not be necessary if there are no other risk factors. With other cases where other risk factors are present, or recurrent DVT, stockings are an important part of preventing further problems. Diabetics and older folks must receive a doctor's recommendation for stocking strength to avoid cutting off arterial circulation. Speak to your doctor for more specifics.

How do compression stockings work? Compression stockings are made of a special elastic fabric. They are very tight at the ankle and are less tight as the stocking moves up the leg. This graduated tightness helps the leg muscles squeeze fluid up the leg, which improves blood flow from the leg back to the heart and decreases leg swelling and pain. If you are having pain I would suggest you scheduling an appointment with our doctor to make sure nothing else is going on.

My goodness, you have a lot going on. The short and simple answer is "Yes, you should be wearing prescription compression stockings daily for 2 years!" However, the explanation is not short and simple, and in fact, is long and complicated, but basically, wearing stockings can help prevent a complication of deep vein thrombosis called Post Thrombotic Syndrome. You do need to pay attention to the strength of the compression, especially with diabetes. Yes, you may go without them for short periods, and of course, may take them off when bathing or sleeping, but it's always best to keep them when up and about. Although your leg symptoms have improved, in the long run, it will be worth wearing them.

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