Compression Therapy

Janet Wolfson's picture
patient treatment

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

Long ago, in a Physical Therapy Department far away, I met my first lymphedema patient, but did not know that was the cause of her recurring wounds. Into the next decade, I treated more patients with chronic swelling in their legs and we put something called Unna boots on them. But the boots did not work for everybody. By the end of the decade, there were layered compression wraps and I had started to see courses for therapists in manual lymphatic drainage. Hmmm, curious…

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Bradley W. Lind and James McGuire DPM, PT, CPed, FAPWHc

Venous leg ulcers are a type of lower extremity wound complicated by excess fluid production, periwound edema, and high bioload produced by venous insufficiency often leading to secondary lymphedema. The Coban™ 2 Layer Compression Therapy System, created by 3M Health Care, was designed to achieve sustained therapeutic compression, while improving the ease of application, and reducing slippage of the dressing during wear. The reduction in layers of the dressing also allows the patient to wear their own footwear and avoid the purchase of a surgical shoe.

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Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture

By Carmelita Harbeson and James McGuire DPM, PT, CPed, FAPWHc

Compression therapies work to restore circulation, reduce edema, and enhance tissue stability. With the myriad of compression options available, sorting through which treatments are best for each patient can be a daunting task for clinicians. This post presents an introduction to Tubigrip™, a multi-purpose tubular compression bandage and focuses on its utilization in decreasing edema associated with venous and lymphatic conditions.

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Lindsay Andronaco's picture
Blood Pressure Cuff

By Lindsay D. Andronaco RN, BSN, CWCN, WOC, DAPWCA, FAACWS

Patients who come in with venous insufficiency ulcers and lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD) should be evaluated for compromised vascular status and the use of compression. The purpose of the ankle-brachial index (ABI) test is to support the diagnosis of vascular disease by providing an objective indicator of arterial perfusion to a lower extremity.

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

We've all experienced difficulty in getting dressings to stay on for as long as we need them to, especially when there are many commercial dressings that could (and should) remain in place for several days before they require changing.

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Arterial ulcers can cause much pain for patients and consternation for the wound care professionals tasked with managing them. Arterial ulcers can be a catch-22 in that many patients with arterial ulcers present with edema, but due to the nature of their problem cannot be safely compressed.

Aletha Tippett MD's picture

By Aletha Tippett MD

Once the individual has been thoroughly assessed for palliative care and his or her objectives and needs have been discussed, the wound care provider must determine the wound management strategy to follow. This strategy will depend upon the type of wound being treated for palliation. A summary of each type of wound and an appropriate palliative strategy are listed below, including factors such as removal of the wound cause, pain and drainage management, and odor control:

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, CWS, FACCWS

Compression therapy is the “gold standard” for the treatment of venous ulcers. However, compression therapy is not a one-size-fits-all treatment and the clinician must decide on the right type of compression therapy for the individual client in order to prevent complications from occurring, such as ischemia and necrosis.

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