Knee replacement surgery is an invasive procedure that involves removing the damaged joint and inserting an artificial knee joint in its place. Afterwards, most patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery are told by their doctors to wear compression stockings. Compression garments are meant to improve blood flow in the part of the body where they're worn. When it comes to knee replacement surgery, thigh-high support stockings are worn daily during recovery to assist in improved circulation.
After knee replacement surgery, patients must stay off their feet for a few days, although foot, ankle and leg motion exercises are recommended to assist in stimulating blood flow. The compression stockings are used to improve blood circulation and minimize the risks of blood clots. They also help to keep swelling down. The patient's orthopedist or surgeon can recommend the proper size and type of support socks, including how long and how often they should be worn. Incisions may run about six inches to a foot long and will be sutured or stapled shut. The patient wears a dressing over the wound until it heals. The compression stockings can be worn over the wound dressing.
Recovery from knee replacement surgery lasts several weeks to several months. Within a few days of surgery, patients will learn from a physical therapist how to move their new joint and begin a program for standing and walking. Most patients are released from the hospital once they are able to get in and out of bed and walk with the assistance of crutches. The stockings should be worn for longer periods of time in the beginning, with the patient following the doctor's recommendations on how long to take them off and when to keep them on. After a time, they will only be worn during the daytime, and eventually may not be needed, depending on the individual.
Support Stockings after knee replacement surgery typically pull up to the thigh. There are support knee-highs and waist-high styles also available, but due to the location of the surgical site, the blood flow is not normal at the knee and must be stimulated.
Changes in Time
The early days of compression hosiery began with thick white stockings with bold seams running down the back of the legs. They were often toeless, made of a rubber blend and smelled funny. Today's compression stockings come in white, beige and black. The seams and toes are optional and the material is more likely made of a nylon blend. While some brands still use rubber components, it is more likely a small percentage of silicone rubber in a weave with nylon and other stretchy fabrics. While some patients find their feet smell funny, it is often when they are cooped up in shoes or slippers that don't breathe. Lotion on the feet or powder in the shoes will help to alleviate foot odor.