Which are the best compression stockings?

I just got diagnosed with lymphoedema yesterday, while I'm obviously not happy about it I'm glad to have a diagnosis and be able to start treatment.

My leg is about 4cm larger than the other one all the way up and I've been prescribed compression stockings. The consultant says thigh length would be best because of the thigh swelling but the orthotics man says knee length because the thigh ones roll down and get uncomfortable?

They were both also talking about open toe v closed toe. I have to pay prescription charges and I just don't want to pay £15.30 for the wrong thing.

Would it be usual to just wear a stocking on the affected leg? or on both?

I'm 28 years old, female.

6 Replies

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  • Hi Faethe - if your swelling is in the whole leg then it is really important that you have a full length garment as otherwise the swelling will just be pushed up into your thigh. A well fitting garment will not roll down as they have grip tops. It is usual to only wear it on your effected leg. Perhaps you should ask to be referred to a lymphoedema nurse who will be able to talk you though your options

  • Thank you. I'll definitely get the full leg one then and give it a try, hopefully it won't roll down. I didn't know that there were any lymphoedema nurses so I'll definitely ask my doctor about that when I see him on friday.

  • Hi Faethe, I totally agree about the full length stocking. With a knee length one the fluid will just gather more in the top part of your leg. I have had both open toed and closed toed stockings and find the open toed ones more comfortable and less hot, but I do wear trousers all the time. Closed toe stockings would be better if you wear skirts as you can wear nicer shoes.

    Getting access to a lymphoedema nurse is the best option as they are very good at giving you advise to help with most aspects of the condition and are able to share other people's experiences anonymously, which is helpful.

    I have LE in both legs and wear stockings on both but they are different compression levels and different types. The nurse will help you find what is likely to work for you and your lifestyle.

  • Thank you

    I saw the tights on the medi website, but that means wearing the same compression on both sides doesn't it?

    Currently my right leg is about 4cm larger than my left all the way up, and I've been prescribed class 2 stockings. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to wear stockings on both legs though, or just on the right.

    I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow though, hopefully things will become clearer then.

  • I was once prescribed thigh length class 2 stockings and had trouble keeping them up even though they had the silicone band at the top. I only had to walk up the street and find them flapping around my knees!

    My nurse told me to contact Medi and ask about a skin glue called 'It Stays'. It comes in an applicator bottle with a rollerball in the top. It's about £10 (if my memory serves right) but it lasts absolutely ages. Good for keeping you from *ahem* falling out of revealling tops and dresses too! The first time I used it, I pulled my stockings up then pushed them down a bit then applied the glue to my thighs (one at a time) just below where the silicone band goes so the glue adheres the fabric to the leg. The only problem was, I forgot to shave my legs (with an electric razor of course!) before using the glue and forgot that the glue was water soluble so just yanked the stocking down as usual and it hurt like hell! The next time I remembered to shave then when it came to take the stockings off, I dampened the area where the glue was through my stocking and it was much easier and less painful :-)

    I have been told you can get a type of skin glue on prescription but I'm not sure how true this is or which company it's from.

  • Hi everyone

    I prefer closed toe ones, I find the open toe uncomfortable, so I suppose it is a matter of choice. I have recently purchased on Ebay someold-style Duomed stockings, which unfortunately they no longer are making. I do not like the newer ones, they dont last two mins. In fact on first putting one on I managed to ladder them. The old Duomed ones I am wearing are 4 years old! (Although I have to say that they should really be in the bin, but when I manage to find a decent replacement for the old-style Duomed that is where they will be going). Fortunately for me I get mine free as I have other illnesses that entitle me to free prescriptions. Oh and I did have one pair of thigh length ones, the problem I got with them was that they rode down my legs to my ankles too much causing an elastic band type welt/ridge.

    So I at the present time are wearing knee length which I find easier to pull up if they slip. I also use Nivea creme (in the dark blue container) on my legs which helps stop them from slipping.

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