How Long to Wear Compression Socks After Surgery

If you have had a major surgery before, you’ve worn compression socks. Remember those white long stockings the Doctor gave you before they put you under? Those were TED Hose, and if you were given socks to wear after surgery those are compression socks! We cover the difference between TED Hose vs. Compression Socks in another blog, but in this article, we will be covering how long you should wear compression socks after surgery. 

How Long to Wear Compression Socks After Surgery 

You can wear compression socks for as long as you are comfortable. That means you can wear compression socks 24 hours a day if you wanted to. The same rules apply for recovery from surgery.  

The answer to this question is also dependent on the kind of surgery you had. Smaller, less invasive surgeries have a faster recovery time and require less time in compression socks. But larger knee, hip, and other surgeries may have a longer recovery and require you to wear compression socks long after surgery. Smaller, sports related injuries can also benefit from compression socks, read more about that here. Most surgical recoveries will require a 20-30 mmHg compression sock, or “medium” compression. Compression levels determine the amount of therapeutic squeeze you will feel around your legs. 

How long to wear compression socks after knee surgery 

Your doctor will have recommendations for your specific recovery, but generally speaking, wearing compression socks after surgery is a great idea. Recovery from knee surgery comes in phases, the first 3-5 weeks you will see increased swelling, this is when compression socks should be worn. I recently had surgery on my meniscus, seeing as I work at VIM & VIGR, I wore compression socks every day after surgery. At my 3-week post operation check in, my surgeon remarked that he was shocked how quickly I had recovered, and swelling went down. Outside of the decreased swelling, wearing compression socks after knee surgery helped in preventing blood clots and conditions like DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) or Pulmonary Embolism. If you have surgery around your leg or lower leg in other places, you should absolutely consider compression socks in your recovery. 

How long to wear compression socks after hip surgery 

The recommended amount of time for wearing compression socks after hip surgery is 6 weeks. The hospital may supply you with some compression socks, but if they do not, you can buy knee high compression socks, 20-30 mmHg compression socks are recommended. Hip surgery can require a long recovery time, so you will need more than one pair of compression socks. As you return to your normal activity level, compression socks are a fantastic way to keep the swelling down. If you are a senior or taking care of one, wearing compression socks can greatly reduce other risk factors down the road, even after surgery. 

Open toe compression socks

How Many Hours a Day Should You Wear Compression Socks After Surgery? 

Compression socks can be worn for 24 hours a day if you are comfortable, but that is not a requirement as you recover from surgery. When you first start wearing compression socks, you can work your way into longer periods of wear gradually. Compression socks work by therapeutically squeezing your legs, allowing blood to circulate efficiently through the body. This reduces swelling (edema), and the risk of blood clots and DVT. Wearing the consistently for at least 6-8 hours is a great starting point to work up from to ensure that you can get the full benefit. When you return to your usual activity, we have compression tights that offer compression up and through the waist to help recovery.  

Should You Wear Compression Socks at Night After Surgery? 

Right after surgery, yes, you should wear compression socks at night. You can wear compression socks to bed as long as you are comfortable. Compression socks should be easy to wear and fit comfortably around your legs. This is why we offer 6 different sizes and 4 different fabric types. Compression socks do not work instantly so wearing them for long periods of time after surgery is a good idea, however, always consult with your doctor for their opinion on the matter. 

Can You Wear Compression Socks Too Long After Surgery? 

As long as you do not have a medical condition that compression socks enflame, you cannot wear compression socks too long after surgery. Signs of overwearing compression socks include skin irritation, breakage, and general discomfort. Compression socks should feel tight, but comfortable. Your body will tell you when enough is enough, just make sure to listen! At VIM & VIGR, we carry 4 different fabric types to maximize comfort and reduce irritation to the skin. If you have sensitive skin, our cotton blend is best suited as it is extremely soft and breathable. 

What Can Happen if You Stop Wearing Compression Socks Too Soon After Surgery? 

Compression socks are largely a preventative tool, they prevent swelling, blood clots, and Deep Vein Thrombosis. So aside from discomfort and swelling that will increase, you are increasing your chances of a blood clot related injury after surgery. Deep Vein Thrombosis or a Pulmonary Embolism (a blood clot in the lungs that most often forms from a clot that's broken off from the leg, arm, or stomach) are most common, but there are other risks associated with swelling and poor circulation. Consult with your doctor on their compression sock recommendations, but generally speaking wearing compression socks consistently for 4-6 weeks (about 1 and a half months) after surgery is a promising idea. Listen to your body if you need breaks, removing them for a couple hours or to sleep is fine if it means you can consistently keep wearing them. Therefore, finding a pair of compression socks that you enjoy wearing is important. Not only so the material is comfortable, but so the overall quality of the sock can fit your needs.  

Mens compression socks

The Best Compression Socks to Wear After Surgery 

On top of offering a variety of compression garments, at VIM & VIGR we offer our compression socks in a variety of fabrics so you can figure out what is most comfortable for you day to day! Additionally, we offer compression socks for wide calves in every fabric and design. Our compression socks are best for after surgery because they are comfortable to wear for extended periods, they have high quality fabrics, and they have designs that will blend seamlessly into your wardrobe, so you can continue to wear them to work and other places as you recover. 

As I mentioned before, our compression socks come in cotton, merino wool, nylon, and moisture wick nylon. Each fabric has a different feel and purpose, this is what makes our compression socks the best compression socks to wear after surgery. Choosing the right compression sock is important, so read on to find out more about our 4 dynamic fabrics. 

Our 4 functional fabrics are as follows: 

COTTON 

Our 200 needle count cotton blend is soft and made with natural fibers. The flexibility in our cotton fabric allows for our most spunky designs, and many customers report that their feet stay cool while wearing them - even in the summer months! This is because of the light and breathable nature of our cotton compression socks. 

MERINO WOOL 

We use the highest quality (sustainably sourced) Merino Wool for our compression socks. This 200 needle count fabric is known for its moisture-wicking and temperature regulating ways. Customers love this fabric for everyday wear, and for outdoor activities! Our Merino Wool Compression Socks also have a seamless toe, for those who have sensory issues. 

NYLON 

For the longest time, we have knit our nylon socks on a 400 needle count machine, this left a high quality sleek feel to the sock, and a 4 way stretch that was unmatched. However, it limited our ability to make fun designs, and left a seam in the toe. In 2022, we released another version of our nylon sock called Choice Nylon. This uses the same fabric as our Classic Nylon socks but leaves a softer feel and allows for more designs. All while eliminating the toe seam as well. We will be keeping our Classic and Choice Nylon around for a while, so let us know which one you like better! Check out our Nylon Compression Socks here! 

MOISTURE WICK NYLON 

This high-quality nylon is also great for temperature regulation. It uses a different fabric than our Classic Nylon and Choice Nylon socks and is knit on a 400 needle count machine. These socks give the feeling of stockings and are loved by many of our customers! Our Moisture Wick Nylon Compression Socks offer a 4 way stretch that helps them to stay in place all day. 

Finding your perfect compression sock will take some trial and error. Luckily, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and allow free returns if the sock you get isn’t perfect.  

Woman wearing compression socks

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