Thrombo-Embolic-Deterrent, or TED, stockings are hosiery which offer compression on the lower extremities to prevent blood from pooling.
This article aims to inform you:
– What TED hosiery are and their benefits,
– The various types of TED hosiery available (such as TED hose sizing, styles, and compression levels),
– How to properly measure oneself for a pair of TED hosiery, and
– How to wear and maintain TED hosiery.
What are TED Hosiery?
TED is an abbreviation for Thrombo-Embolic-Deterrent. This kind of hosiery is designed and worn to support venous and lymphatic drainage in the legs. When an individual is bedridden and has limited movement, due to recovery for instance, these hosiery can help prevent blood from clotting.
These are quite similar to compression socks. For an individual to obtain effective results, measurement and fitting is typically recommended. Continue reading to find out how to properly measure yourself for a pair of TED hosiery.
What are the Benefits of TED Hosiery?
TED hosiery offer a variety of benefits to users. It provides pressure to the ankles and calves, which helps improve blood flow in your legs and back to the heart; thus, preventing and reducing swelling and aches. Read below for other benefits.
1. Quickens Recovery
TED hosiery and compression socks are typically recommended by doctors to stimulate faster healing, such as post-surgery and when managing chronic illnesses and pain.
2. Provides Comfort During Pregnancy
Pregnant women can feel relief from aching and swollen feet from using TED hosiery. These offer a comfortable, cooling effect and are easy to put on.
3. Supports Circulation
Lack of mobility may cause decreased blood flow and places a risk of blood clotting. This is reduced when using TED hosiery.
What Types are There?
Like other hosiery and footwear, TED hosiery come in a variety of sizes and styles; you can choose from compression stockings in ankle-high, knee-high, thigh-high or waist-high styles. They are also made with different materials which make them durable and enable them to provide effective compression pressure.
It is strongly recommended that you obtain medical advice from a doctor to understand which type of TED hosiery, or any other kind of compression garment, is suitable for your health condition.
1. The Difference Between TED Hosiery and Compression Socks
The type of TED hosiery best suited for you will depend on your health condition and needs. TED hosiery may come in different styles but they all essentially have the same purpose. However, they may be confused with compression socks as they both share many similarities.
TED hosiery are commonly used post-surgery or if an individual is non-ambulatory. This is particularly because bedridden patients have a higher risk of blood pooling in the calves which may result in clotting; the hosiery can be worn to apply pressure to the legs to prevent this by maintaining blood circulation. On the other hand, compression socks, although offer the same benefits, are recommended for ambulatory patients.
2. Compression Levels
TED hosiery come in various compression levels, or strengths, which range from mild to extra firm. Mild compression strengths up to 30 mmHg can be bought online or at a local pharmacy, but higher compression strengths require a doctor’s prescription as they are targeted for treating serious medical conditions.
The compression level is the first aspect you will need to check before purchasing a pair of TED hosiery. The range of levels include:
- Light-moderate compression (15-20 mmHg) – These are perfect for traveling. If you are pregnant, has an occupation which requires prolonged sitting or standing, or experiencing mild leg swelling, this level would be suitable.
- Moderate compression (20-30 mmHg) – These are suitable those that experience moderate swelling and mild circulatory issues, such as varicose veins. You can also wear them when your legs feel tired and heavy.
- Firm compression (30-40 mmHg) – These are usually required when you have moderate to severe varicose veins, moderate edema, and various other circulatory issues.
- Extra firm compression (40-50 mmHg) – This level is for individuals diagnosed with severe edema, chronic venous diseases or severe post-thrombotic syndrome.
- Heavy compression (50-60 mmHg) – This is the strongest compression level and is primarily used to relieve post-thrombotic syndrome and lymphedema.
Side Effects from Wearing an Incorrect Compression Level
Wearing a compression level too strong can cause restrictions in blood flow while wearing one too weak will not deliver effective results.
Below are some of the side effects of not wearing the correct compression strength:
- Uncomfortable feeling in the feet, ankles, and/or legs,
- Development of corns and calluses,
- Tingling feet,
- Joint pain,
- Restricted blood circulation.
The material used to make TED hosiery can vary; some are made of rubber, lycra, cotton, spandex, or a mixture of materials. It is important to check which material is used in the hosiery to avoid any possible allergic reactions or skin irritation.
Appropriate TED hose sizing is necessary to ensure optimal comfort and effective compression. Retailers tend to provide a measurement chart for assistance. These charts may also depend on what type of compression hosiery you are seeking; they may require measurements for ankle circumference, calf-length and calf circumference.
The style of TED hosiery can be chosen based on attire. For instance, a plain ankle-length or knee-length style with a neutral color may be chosen to go with one’s work attire. Retailers often provide numerous options to choose from. You can select from plain colors to a blend of colors, and either closed or open-toed TED hosiery.
How to Take Measurements for Better TED Hose Sizing
Below are a few steps you can follow to take measurements for a more fitting TED hose sizing:
- Measure the upper thigh circumference at gluteal furrow. (Measurement Ref C)
- Measure the calf circumference at its widest part. (Measurement Ref B)
- Measure the entire leg measurement from gluteal furrow to the base of the heel, if you are keen on purchasing thigh-high or waist-high hosiery. (Measurement Ref A2)
- Measure the calf from the back of the knee to the base of the heel, if you are keen on purchasing ankle-high hosiery. (Measurement Ref A1)
How to Put on TED Hosiery
Below is a step-by-step list of instructions to help you put on TED hosiery:
- Insert your hand into the hose as far as the heel pocket.
- Grasp the center of the heel pocket and turn the socks inside out to the heel area.
- Position the stocking over the foot and heel. Make sure that the heel is centered in the heel pocket.
- Pull a few centimeters of the hose up around the ankle and calf.
- Continue pulling the hose up the leg. The stitch change (in fabric sheerness) should fall between 2.5 to 5cm below the bend of the knee.
- As the thigh portion of the stocking is applied, start rotating the hosiery inward so that the panel is centred over the femoral artery. The panel is best placed slightly towards the inside of the leg.
- If you are using the thigh-length stocking with a belt, make sure the side panel is at the hip bone and the upper hem rests at the gluteal furrow.
- Smooth out any wrinkles.
- Be sure to align the toe not to stick out.
- Make sure that you maintain the proper stocking positioning to ensure that there are no incorrect positioning.
How to Maintain TED Hosiery
Below is a short guide on how to properly care for TED hosiery:
- Properly sized hosiery need to be removed daily during bathing to inspect the skin’s condition, if possible.
- Wash after use to remove bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, and sweat.
- Machine wash, with the temperature not to exceed 70°C. Machine dry for 15 to 20 minutes, with the temperature not exceeding 80°C.
- Keep hosiery free from ointments, oil, lanolin and substances which can deteriorate plastic.
TED hosiery are beneficial for improving blood circulation, particularly in bedridden patients with restricted movement. They provide similar benefits as compression socks and come in a range of compression levels as well. TED hose sizing, style, compression level, and material are important factors to consider before acquiring a pair.