Should I stop compression treatment now that my leg has reduced in size so much?

I have LE in my right leg and wear class 3 compression stockings on a daily basis. The problem is that since I first discovered that I had Lymphoedema and subsequently was advised to wear compression, I have not had any period of time where I have not done so for an extended period of time. My right leg is now more or less back to normal size having reduced from around 50% larger than the left.

I am thinking I may be able to get away with only wearing them every other day or even less, however am very reluctant to put this to the test as I really don't want the swelling to come back. To be honest as much as I hate wearing the stockings I have got used to them now and they are part of my daily life, however if I could skip a couple of days a week with no ill effect then I would be happy.

Has anyone got any experience with doing this and if so what would your suggestions be?

Thanks,

River83

11 Replies

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  • Hi,

    As tempting as it is to leave them off it is best to wear them daily & particularly as you have got used to them. I also wear full compression hosiery on both legs - and working in the Middle East it is often uncomfortable but I persist. Occassionally I allow myself the luxury to leave them off for a few hours on a weekend morning - to let the air circulate and give the feet and legs a good soaking with moisturisers - but within a few hours I can see the feet begin to swell again - so on they go again and keep the legs raised to offset the price I paid.

    Be happy you made such a great improvement and take care to maintain it.

    Christo.

  • Thanks Christo for the quick response.

    I think you are probably right and the last thing I want is to end up back where I started. I suppose that I am clinging to a hope that one day the compression won't be needed, however I do realise that in reality this is not going to be the case.

    In the grand scheme of things I am very happy with the improvements that I've managed to make and am grateful for the compression garments that have made it possible.

  • I wear compression stockings on both legs..and will do so for life...my left leg is basically back to normal size ...but I will continue wearing the compression stockings cos as there is no cure for lymphoedema the lymph will build up and my legs will swell again..and then I will be more prone to infection...I am just not willing to even try it without compression stockings even for a day...

  • Hi great to hear that you have got your leg back to original size. Can I ask what you did to do this? was it only slightly bigger? - my leg is 3 litres bigger than the other 58 per cent and it won't go down even though I wear compression all the time. Tried bandaging but came back eventually. Just wondered if you had any good tips, it's starting to depress me now . I have lived with it for 23 years but now am just fed up of wearing the same wide leg jeans all the time!!!! any tips would be appreciated please

  • Hi, I think the fact that I had the condition diagnosed quickly and was able to get a course of bandaging along with the correct compression garments helped a lot. At it's worst my right leg was round 50% larger than the left and more so around the knee an ankle. In addition to wearing the compression I try to do as much exercise as possible, walking and cycling with the stocking on really help as does swimming during which I dont wear any compression.

    Good luck!

  • What did you do to get your leg back to its original size and how long did it take?

  • Other than wearing the compression stockings I do a daily walk between 20 to 60 minutes depending on time constraints and whether I incorporate it with shopping etc..my right leg hasn't got down to near normal as yet.....and I also have lipoedema and my thighs are still quite big even though I have lost 11 kg since beginning of November....seems I havent lost anything much in the thigh area at all...so yes even though my lower legs have gone down in size ..like you I still have to wear the wide leg capris or trousers to accommodate my thighs..GRRR...I have had the lymphoedema for at least 10 years along with lipodermatosclerosis...the lipodermatosclerosis was diagnosed in Feb 2009 by a dermatologist but I was given nothing on how to deal with it so carried on not realising by leaving it is as it was it was progressively getting worse....I had 2 biopsies ..one in 2003 and one in 2008 ...the last one should have been a huge indicator towards lymphoedema as the biopsy site oozed whitish yellow fluid for 5 days...hmmm yet it wasn't picked up ...so another few years passed til July last year when I got a bad infection in both legs ...so had the District Nurse come and dress them...she actually referred me to the Lymphoedema Clinic and I was finally diagnosed with Lipolymphoedema...and Lipodermatosclerosis in October last year ..and compression stockings were prescribed ..which I got in late November .I started waling daily at the beginning of November....and by January I had gone down a size in stockings so got new ones in February.

    Looking back...by rights the dermatologist should have gotten me into stockings when she diagnosed me in Feb 2009 cos the compression stockings are also used for lipodermatosclerosis so I discovered a little while ago

    So it has been a matter of 10 years to get to a definite diagnosis and treatment..

  • its nice to know your treatment worked, its tempting to leave compression garments off but its the compression which prevents the lymphodema causing the limbs to swell again, Personally i would love to leave mine off both my legs, did it once when i had flu oh what a mistake, my legs came up quickly and i had to have bandages on for 3 days, so i wont leave mine off i know its not always nice but we dont have a choice.

  • Hi River83, if you saw my other post you're realise my ankle is fine but my brain is fried.

    To answer your question about stocking or no stockings I think it's very encouraging that you've managed to get your leg back to normal, or very close. Could you reduce how often you wear your stockings? I would say if you have any swelling left then think twice before not wearing them. If you do experiment I think you should monitor them closely and carry your stocking with you so you can put them back on again if you leg shows signs of swelling.

  • Hullo. I do what you suggest all the time. I have inherited lymphodema in one leg. I wear

    half length activa socks. They are brilliant - the best. Soon as my leg is better I leave them off.

    Atleast 2 to 3 days a week. When it swells up, I put them on again. No problem.

    Best wishes

  • I have lipolymphoedema and wear full length compression stockings every day. I have occasionally left them off for a day, but only if I've been too ill to even get out of bed. I wouldn't recommend leaving your stockings off in the normal course of things, but perhaps you should speak to your healthcare specialist about it.

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