Compression

Robin Lenz and Fahad Hussain's picture

By Dr. Lenz and Dr. Hussain

For the patient, the prevention of sores and injuries is better than treating them. Pressure-relieving mattresses may be essential for preventing pressure injuries (bed sores). These mattresses aid in relieving and redistributing pressure and can thereby cause a reduction of friction and shearing. Pressure-relieving mattresses provide support for the body and reduce the amount of force applied to a given area. Thus, for bedbound patients and patients who are unable to reposition themselves, these types of beds can be especially beneficial.

by Tia Gray, PTA, CLT, CWT and Donald Thomas, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA, CWT

As lymphedema and wound care therapists at Penn Therapy & Fitness, we often see scenarios like those in the cases described in our abstract presented as a poster at the recent Symposium on Advanced Wound Care. Conditions such as lymphedema, chronic venous insufficiency, and phlebolymphedema that manifest in patients with wounds can lead to catastrophic and life-threatening skin breakdown (degradation). Complications of infections associated with lymphedema include cellulitis, lymphangitis, lymphadenitis, and ulcerations where protein-rich fluid provides a perfect medium for microbial growth.

WoundSource Editors's picture

Compression therapy is a well-established treatment modality for a number of conditions, including venous disorders, thrombosis, lymphedema, and lipedema. It is also very effective in treating various kinds of edema.1 Based on patient diagnostic data, many patients with these conditions can benefit from targeted compression therapy.

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WoundCon Faculty's picture

By: Karen Bauer, NP-C, CWS

How often should ankle-brachial indexes (ABIs) be repeated? If someone has a stage 3 pressure injury to the top of the foot, should compression be held on that extremity?

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Society guidelines suggest ABIs every 3 months routinely, while the Society for Vascular Surgery guidelines recommend that post endovascular repair, ABIs are done at 6 and 12 months (then yearly). For open revascularization, surveillance studies can be at 3, 6, and 12 months. Ultimately, many factors play into this. If the ulcer is closing and the limb remains stable, you might forgo frequent ABIs, but if the ulcer is not closing, or the patient has new or persistent ischemic symptoms, you should check ABIs more frequently. As far as compression with a dorsal foot pressure injury is concerned, as long as arterial status has been ascertained, compression can be utilized. The original source of pressure should be removed (shoe? ankle-foot orthotic?). If there is a venous component, cautious compression will aid in ulcer resolution.

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WoundCon Faculty's picture

By: Marta Ostler, PT, CWS, CLT, DAPWCA, and Janet Wolfson, PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

By the WoundSource Editors

Lower extremity wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), venous ulcers, and arterial ulcers have been linked to poor patient outcomes, such as patient mortality and recurrence of the wound. Although precise recurrence rates can be difficult to determine and can vary across different patient populations, we do know that the recurrence rates of lower extremity wounds are quite high.

WoundSource Editors's picture
Edema

By the WoundSource Editors

Edema is the abnormalaccumulation of excess fluid within tissue. The swelling associated with edema can be localized to a small area following an acute injury, it can affect an entire limb or a specific organ, or it can be generalized throughout the entire body. Edema is not a disease, but rather a symptom that can indicate general health status, side effects of medications, or serious underlying medical conditions.

Janet Wolfson's picture
Frequently Asked Questions

By Janet Wolfson, PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

Reflecting back on "In the Trenches With Lymphedema," WoundSource's June Practice Accelerator webinar, many people sent in questions. I have addressed some regarding compression use here.

Janet Wolfson's picture
kidney failure-related edema

By Janet Wolfson PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

Acute care wound or edema professionals are bombarded with multiple kinds of edema that can be treated in many ways—and with many choices of compression garments. What to choose?

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture
wound care journal club

ByTemple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club

Editor's note: This post is part of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) journal review club blog series. In each blog post, a TUSPM student will review a journal article relevant to wound management and related topics and provide their evaluation of the clinical research therein.

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