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My wife always has swelling at the ankles when we are on a commercial carrier flight of any distance. Will compression stockings help this? If so , what strength?
Yes 20-30 mmhg. Should help in addition to frequent short walk or even some toe raises at your seat every 20-30 min can help.
Everyone who travels, whether by car, plane or train, should wear a travel compression sock/stocking. These now look like dress socks or stockings - not surgical hose.
The minimum travel compression should be 15 - 20 mmHg but with your wife's swelling, she may benefit from 20 - 30 mmHg compression.
Knee High socks are adequate unless her whole leg swells, then a thigh hose might be more comfortable.
We recommend getting up and walking, staying well hydrated (that encourages walking!!!) and doing exercises of the ankles.
It is best to have her measured and fitted professionally at a medical supply store or certified fitters at a clinic such as ours. The measurements should be done early in the day before any swelling has occurred.
For those without swelling who travel, we recommend 15 - 20 mmHg as a precaution against deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).
Norman N. Bein MD FACS RVT
Yes, they will help. I would suggest consulting with a venous specialist to decide on a compression grade and to get a prescription.
Elastic graduated compression stockings are recommended for most people who are sitting for prolonged periods such as on an airplane. They help prevent swelling at the ankles and reduce the likelihood of developing clot in the leg veins. Periodic exercise of the ankles with flexion and extension of the ankles boosts venous flow out of the legs as well by means of the "calf muscle pump". it is important that the compression hose fit correctly. Patients who have good arterial blood flow in the feet and who do not have a lack of sensation in the feet due to neuropathy usually can wear 30-40 mm Hg compression hose. Patients with decreased arterial blood flow in the feet or numbness may need physician advice before choosing hose.
Stephen F. Daugherty, MD, FACS, RVT, RPhS
Most certainly compression stockings will help. Other things with help is exercise on the seat doing frequent contraction-relxation exercises of the calf and thighs. However since she most probably has venous insufficiency, she should see vein specialist that can properly diagnose the problem and give her a more definitive solution.
She should use at least 20-30mmHg compression stockings.
Yes, 20-30 should be adequate. Consider venous insufficiency evaluation
sometime to see if she has a correctable cause.
Compression stockings 15 to 20 or a maximum of 20 to 30 will help this.