If you are prepping for a Total Knee Replacement (TKR), your doctor has probably recommended that you order compression stockings to aid in post-surgical healing. If they haven't recommended a specific brand or product, you're probably overwhelmed by the choices! There are many options for compression stockings for a total knee replacement. We're going to walk through a few considerations and then give you a list of our recommendations.
Facts about Compression for Total Knee Replacement
- Talk to your doctor about the compression level they want you to wear. Most doctors will suggest 20-30 mmHg which is a moderate level of graduated compression, but they may want you in a higher or lower compression level depending on your situation. Ask before you buy anything
- Ask your doctor if they want you in a knee high (ends at the base of the knee) or a full leg stocking that covers the knee. A recent study showed that either option is useful in preventing swelling in the leg, but your doctor will be able to tell you what's best for you. We've found that most doctors recommend thigh highs.
- You'll be wearing these for at least two weeks post-surgery, so you want to get something that will be comfortable for your life post-surgery. Will you be mostly on bed-rest or heading out? Think about what's going to fit into your lifestyle best.
- Compression stockings are sized by leg measurement. Before your surgery, make sure to measure ankle, calf, thigh (if you're ordering thigh highs/pantyhose), and the length of your leg from the floor the bend in the knee. Find tips on measuring here.
- Nearly all of the thigh highs and knee highs we sell are sold as a pair. You're probably only getting surgery on one knee, but it will be good to have an extra that you can switch out while you're washing one.
- Order ahead of time! Don't get caught going into surgery without your compression stockings ready for recovery.
5 Best Compression Stockings for Total Knee Replacement
- Core-Spun Thigh Highs. These are the ultimate in comfort. They are soft and stretchy, which will help you get them on more easily and keep you comfy all day. Since the fabric on these is a bit thicker than most stockings, these are going to be ideal for wearing around the house - they'll be pretty warm under pants if you're heading out. They are available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg - so pick the compression level your doctor recommends! These are unisex - made for men and women.
- Medi Assure. Budget-friendly and durable. You don't need to wear these forever, so spending on expensive compression stockings may seem absurd to you. Medi Assure is made by one of the premium brands, but doesn't have all the bells and whistles as some of their fancier lines of compression. Less color options and fabric choices, but high quality, durable, comfortable stockings. Perfect for a few weeks of wear. Available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg. These are unisex - made for men and women.
- Sigvaris Soft Opaque. On the flip side, if you're okay spending a little more for maximum comfort - these are our top choice. These are designed specifically for women (check the next item for our premium men's selection) with double covered yarns that make these super soft and stretchy. They have medical-grade compression, but lots of customers report that they don't feel like they're even wearing compression because they're SO comfy and soft. Available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg in Short and Long lengths.
- Jobst for Men. Our premium selection for men comes from Jobst. These are beloved by our male customers - just check the reviews! They're soft and stretchy, with a dotted silicone top band which keeps them perfectly placed. Available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.
- Chaps. Not just for cowboys! So I mentioned most compression stockings come as a pair - here's the one exception. When you order a "chap" style compression stocking, you're getting a stocking for one leg, but it comes with a waist attachment that helps hold the stockings up. Most thigh highs have a silicone top band, but a lot of people still struggle to keep that in place on the leg. The Chap style eliminates the top band and holds the stocking up from the waist, which can be much more comfortable to some.