H.16 Compression Stockings – There needs to be an easier way
Foot, ankle and leg swelling is a major problem for all types of patients. Individuals with heart failure, who are pregnant or have undergone treatment for cancer are all at risk of having lower extremity swelling. Compression stockings are part of the standard treatment for any lower extremity swelling. If you talk to anyone who has tried to put on compression stockings – it’s an arduous task. Compression stockings are extremely hard to put on, are hot when you wear them and most stockings are ugly and unattractive. As a result a significant number of patients do not wear their compression stockings as prescribed. There needs to be a better, easier and more attractive solution to this major problem.
There are several simple mechanical, zippered or lubricant devices on the market to help with putting on compression stockings. The current mechanical devices have ergonomic limitations, are eye sores and are hard to use. Zippered stockings tend to unzip and are sometimes even harder to put on than their unzippered counterparts. Lubricant devices for the legs are imperfect and do not address the dexterity issues needed to pull on/ and off compression stockings.
Even a marginal improvement in the desirability and usability of compression stockings would have a major impact on health outcomes. Compression stockings are used to treat conditions such as leg swelling due to heart failure, varicose veins in older age or pregnancy, lower extremity swelling due to high salt intake or temperature change, lymphedema due to cancer or other lymph node disorders, venous stasis dermatitis, swelling after surgeries or after long period of immobility. Having a reliable, affordable and attractive compression stocking solution would be welcomed by every specialty in medicine from primary care to dermatology.