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January 14, 1983

Efficacy of Graded Elastic Compression in the Lower Leg

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina (Drs Pierson and Johnson), and the North Carolina Memorial Hospital (Ms Pierson), Chapel Hill. Mr Swallow is from Asheboro, NC.

JAMA. 1983;249(2):242-243. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260060033

Graded elastic compression stockings on the lower leg were evaluated for their ability to (1) decrease leg volume, (2) decrease circumference, and (3) alleviate discomfort. One hundred three test subjects participated in this study, including 30 normal, asymptomatic control subjects. The conditions of the 73 symptomatic patients were categorized by pain and swelling, varicose veins, venous stasis, lymphedema, and phlebitis, which constituted symptoms in 120 legs. Although total body weight did not change during the week of observation, the volume, circumference, and pain decreased in the symptomatic group. The volume of the stockinged leg decreased in comparison with the nonstockinged control leg in the asymptomatic subjects as well. We conclude that non-custom-made graded elastic stockings with 24 mm Hg of pressure at the ankle are effective in decreasing volume, circumference, and symptoms in the lower leg in patients with minimal problems during a one-week period.

(JAMA 1983;249:242-243)