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compression, edema, longitudinal stockinette, lower limb, tubular bandage, wound care



  1. Sibbald, R. Gary MD, DSc (Hons), MEd, BSc, FRCPC (Med Derm), FAAD, MAPWCA, JM
  2. Elliott, James A. MMSc
  3. Coutts, Patricia RN, IIWCC-CAN
  4. Persaud-Jaimangal, Reneeka MD, MScCH, IIWCC-CAN


BACKGROUND: Many patients with lower limb edema do not tolerate traditional higher-pressure compression devices and require alternative devices for edema control.


METHODS: Two systems were evaluated for control of bilateral or unilateral lower limb edema: an elasticized longitudinal stockinette (ELS; EdemaWear; Compression Dynamics, Omaha, Nebraska) and an elasticized tubular bandage (ETB; Tubigrip; Molnlycke Health Care, Norcross, Georgia). Twenty-five patients were recruited; patients with bilateral edema (n = 12) wore the ELS on one limb, and the ETB on the other. Patients with unilateral edema (n = 13) were randomized to wear either the ELS or ETB. Edema measurements, leg pain, and patient preference were recorded.


RESULTS: There were 14 females (56%) and 11 males (44%); mean age was 66 years (range, 32-88 years); and mean body mass index was 40.4 kg/m2 (range, 26.1-66.9 kg/m2). Patients with bilateral edema wearing ELS had a foot-to-leg circumference between 25.5 and 42.9 cm pre-ELS that remained essentially unchanged at 2 weeks. The five patients with unilateral edema using ELS had a 24.3- to 43.7-cm circumference pre-ELS and 24.2- to 42.6-cm range at 2 weeks. The patients with bilateral edema using ETBs had a foot-to-leg circumference of 25.5 to 43.7 cm before treatment, unchanged 2 weeks later. The eight patients with unilateral edema using ETB had a 25.4- to 45.3-cm circumference pre-ETB and 24.8- to 42.0-cm range post-ETB. Mean pain levels decreased from 1.0 at week 0 to 0.5 at week 2. More patients preferred ELS (17/23, 78.3%) over ETB (5/23, 21.7%).


CONCLUSIONS: Both systems were easy to apply and provided low compression without increased pain. The ELS was preferred by more patients (78.3%) than ETB (21.7%).