Swelling: controlling with compression

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By: Josephine (Josephine, Nurse Emeritus)
Updated December 3, 2021 (Jamie)


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The general BoneSmart guidance for swelling is:

Rest, Ice, Elevate and Take Pain Meds on a Regular Schedule

But if swelling is a problem, you can also benefit from compression. Here are some ways members have been successful at using compression to reduce swelling following surgery:

* The dreaded TEDS hose. Yes, they are uncomfortable. And they are not for everyone. But, if they fit properly and do not bunch up and cut into the skin at any point along your leg, they can work very well to control swelling.

* Tubigrip. an elasticated, multi-purpose bandage that provides lasting, effective support with complete freedom of movement. Once applied, covered elastic threads within the fabric move to adjust to the contours of the body and distribute pressure evenly over the surface. It comes in a variety of sizes to suit all limbs so make sure you choose the correct one. Tubigrip site

* Over-the-counter compression stockings. These can be purchased in a drug store, Walmart, or a pharmacy and come in a variety of colors so they can be worn under slacks. Compression stockings can be especially helpful if you are making a car or airplane trip. You'll still need to move about every hour or so, but the stockings should make any swelling you experience much less.

* Under Armor brand running tights. One of our members used this product successfully and it makes sense. Running tights would perform the same compression function as TEDS hose or compression stockings, but may be less likely to bunch up at the knee and restrict circulation.

* Ice and an ACE bandage. Some of our members apply compression while icing and elevating by wrapping the ice packs tightly around the knee with an ACE bandage. Obviously this will work best for those times when you are not up and walking around!
 
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