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How Long to Wear Compression Socks After Surgery

Are you wondering how long to wear compression socks after your surgery? Worry no more; we have the answers. Compression socks are essential for post-surgery recovery, as they help increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation and swelling. Postoperative care usually includes using these specially tailored socks, which provide pressure on the legs, increasing circulation and lowering the chance of blood clots forming. It can be difficult to know exactly how long to wear them for best results, however.

The type of surgery, individual health considerations and the surgeon’s recommendations can all affect how long compression socks should be worn after surgery. In this post we will be looking into these factors that determine how long compression socks should be worn. It is important to remember that you should always seek medical advice from a healthcare professional as they can offer you the most tailored recommendation for your case.

What are Compression Socks?

Compression socks apply targeted pressure to your legs and feet, aiding circulation and decreasing any post-surgery swelling. They’re commonly prescribed by doctors for a period of weeks or months after an operation, depending on the recommendation.

Compression socks can help to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, while providing extra support for aching feet. They are useful not only for athletes but also for retail workers, healthcare professionals and anyone who needs to stand or walk for prolonged periods of time.

Who Should Wear Compression Socks After Surgery?

Patients are usually advised to wear compression socks for up to three weeks post-operation, or as instructed by their doctor. These socks offer gentle pressure on the feet and lower legs, thus minimizing swelling and aiding in the recovery process. They are especially beneficial for individuals who have had surgical procedures on their lower extremities like a knee or hip replacement.

Patients should talk with their doctor before donning compression socks post-surgery. They are designed to fit snugly, but must not be overly tight or circulation may be impaired. In certain situations, a physician might need to adjust the degree of pressure for more effective and comfortable healing.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks After Surgery

Compression socks worn after surgery offer several advantages that contribute to a smoother and more effective recovery. By exerting graduated pressure on the legs, these specialized socks provide therapeutic benefits that boost healing. Let’s take a look at some of the primary advantages of wearing compression socks after surgery:

  1. Surgery can lead to decreased mobility and long periods of lying down, posing a danger of blood accumulating in the legs and potentially leading to the formation of blood clots. Compression socks provide pressure on the veins to support upward flow of blood toward the heart, reducing the risks of deep vein thrombosis or DVT which can be fatal if left untreated.
  2. Reduced swelling and edema: Postoperative swelling, or edema, is a common occurrence after surgery. Compression socks can help improve the draining of fluids from the surgical site, thus reducing any excessive buildup of fluid in the surrounding tissue which can be bothersome and affect the healing process. The added pressure of them will make sure this happens.
  3. Surgery can take a toll on the muscles, leading to muscle fatigue and soreness. Compression socks offer an extra degree of support, reducing vibration and oscillation during movement. This can help reduce muscle fatigue and provide stability, decreasing the chance of muscular complications.
  4. Compression socks not only help in creating a barrier against external contaminants, but also protect the surgical area from potential bumps or scrapes. This increases the overall hygiene levels and decreases the risk of infection.
  5. Compression socks are created to be snug and comfortable, usually crafted from breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics for all-day comfort. By providing relief from discomforts such as swelling and pain, they can help improve mobility and enable users to get back to their daily routine more swiftly during recovery.

It’s essential to remember that the advantages of wearing compression socks can change, depending on the kind of treatment, individual health conditions, and your doctor’s instructions. It is strongly advised to talk to a healthcare provider for special counsel adjusted to your personal situation.

How Long to Wear Compression Socks Post-Surgery?

Compression socks are essential for successful recovery after surgery. They help to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process. But how long should you keep them on post-op?

Doctors commonly suggest wearing compression socks for two weeks after surgery to ensure the swelling has gone down and incisions have healed correctly. After this period, you can slowly reduce the amount of time you use them per day before ceasing to wear them altogether.

If you have questions concerning how long to keep wearing compression socks after surgery, consult with your doctor. They can provide personalized directions based on your particular situation.

Complications Related to Not Wearing Compression Socks After Surgery

The primary concern of not wearing compression socks post-operation is the possibility of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This type of blood clot typically forms in the leg and may break away, resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE), a severe health risk.

Wearing compression socks after a procedure can reduce the chances of developing DVT. The extra pressure they provide limits the amount of blood that can accumulate in your veins, making clots less likely. Further, they also ensure good circulation by returning excess blood to your heart.

If you are at risk for developing DVT, your doctor may give you prescription compression socks after surgery. Even if there’s no risk, depending on the type of procedure, wearing compression socks may still be suggested such as in cases of spine and hip operations. The goal is to help forestall blood clotting in the legs.

Tips and Advice for Wearing and Cleaning Compression Socks Post-Surgery

Compression socks are essential for recovery following surgery. These specially designed items can reduce swelling and expedite healing. Here are some useful hints when it comes to donning and caring for compression socks:

  1. Wearing Compression Socks

Compression socks should be worn following your doctor’s or physical therapist’s instructions. It is important not to wear compression socks while sleeping. These should only be worn during the day when you are up and about.

Applying lotion to your feet before wearing compression socks can help reduce the chance of irritation occurring on the skin.

If compression socks cause any pain or discomfort, stop wearing them and speak with a healthcare professional.

2. Cleaning Compression Socks

Clean your compression socks with soap and warm water; avoiding the use of bleach or fabric softeners. Give them a thorough rinse before hanging to air dry. To maintain the effectiveness and longevity of compression socks, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed. Ensure you read through any instructions prior to washing them. To dry your socks properly, gently squeeze out the excess water and do not wring them. The heat of a dryer may damage the elasticity, so instead lay them flat on a towel and roll up to absorb any remaining moisture. Subsequently, hang in a well-ventilated spot that is not exposed to direct heat or light.

Alternatives to Compression Socks

If you’re seeking other options besides compression socks, consider compression stockings. Available in full-length or thigh-high varieties, these come in diverse sizes and colors to suit your needs. An additional choice is graduated compression hosiery, which applies varying levels of pressure to boost circulation and minimize swelling. As a final choice, think about wearing an ankle or calf sleeve for light compression to support the muscles of the ankle and calf.


Getting the right kind, fit, and length of compression socks after surgery can provide comfort and support to your post-operative body. Regularly swapping out old pairs for fresh clean ones will help ensure hygiene and avoid any health hazards that may result from prolonged use. Taking appropriate care when selecting and using compression socks during recovery is essential to maximize their therapeutic benefits.


1. How long should I wear compression socks after surgery?

It’s recommended to wear compression socks for at least two weeks post-surgery, this will help reduce the chances of blood clot and other issues.

2. Can I sleep in compression socks?

You can wear compression socks to bed, provided that they are comfortable for you. Still, it’s advisable to take them off for a while during the day in order to let your skin breathe.

3. Is it possible to wear compression socks for an extended period of time?

Compression socks can provide all day relief; however, it is important to give your skin a break by taking them off for at least an hour each day.

4. Do you want to know if it is advisable to wear compression socks while exercising?

If your doctor has given you the all clear for exercise, you can include wearing compression socks in your workout routine. However, it is not recommended to put them through strenuous use without medical clearance.

5. Will my insurance plan cover the expense of compression socks?

Verify with your insurer, as certain plans may pay for a portion or the entire cost of compression stockings subsequent to an operation.

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