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  • Compression Hosiery

    Compression hosiery consists of garments that are anatomically shaped and applied as a piece of clothing. Compression hosiery has an advantage over multilayer wraps in that the application of compression can be designed into the garment and is consistent based on the fitting range of the hosiery. A 20-30 mmHg hosiery garment will provide the same pressure range when prescribed appropriately for the length and circumference of the limb. Multi-Layer wraps however are stretched and applied manually and therefore are subject to variability from one application to the next and from one provider to the next. All additionally each layer adds increased variability; the more layers a Multi-Layer Wrap System contains the more variability it will have in its application. These factors have led to inconsistent wound healing rates when using multilayer wrap systems as compared to compression hosiery.2, 3
  • Compression Levels and Proper Usage

    Pressures used in compression grading systems are based on measurements produced on a model of a limb and taken at the ankle during laboratory testing. The standards that have been adopted for hosiery are relatively international. There are minor differences of a few mmHg between different countries but generally they are very close to each other using 3 or 4 compression levels.

    The compression description is based on the range of compression applied to the ankle within a fitting range. For example a 20-30 mmHg hosiery fitting an 8” to 9” ankle will apply no less than 20 mmHg at an 8” ankle and no more than 30 mmHg at 9” ankle. Note typical fitting chart for compression hosiery from one company. Note that for knee length circumferential measurements are measured at the ankle and mid-calf while length is measured from the proximal leg the posterior if you’re aspect of the heel. Measurements were added for full length as noted below. The pressure measurements known in figure 3 refers to the level of the ankle when ordering knee length or thigh length stockings.









    The following are the US compression standards for hosiery:

    • 15-20 mmHg – Improves circulation, reduce swelling, controversial treatment telangiectasia/varicosities

    • 20-30 mmHg – Chronic venous insufficiency, Treatment/prevention of varicosities

    • 30-40 mmHg – Treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and ulcers

    • 40-50 mmHg – Treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and ulcers