My Father recently had Total Knee Replacement (TKR) and I spent a few days visiting him in the hospital. After the procedure, thigh-high anti-embolism stockings were put on his effected leg. This is a typical post-surgical procedure since the patient will be generally immobilized in bed which in and of itself is a risk factor for blood clots. Upon leaving the hospital he was instructed to continue wearing thigh length stockings until his first follow-up visit about one month later. Thigh length was recommended, since it would completely cover and protect the incision, which is about six inches long running from above the knee to below the knee.
The stockings he was given in the hospital were not especially well made. Fortunately he has a son in the business! I set him up with Mediven Anti-Embolism Stockings since this seems to be a popular product with our customers. Fortunately his procedure was without incident and he is recuperating quickly, although I don’t think quickly enough for him.
I did some research about the use of compression stockings after TKR surgery, and found one study that compared the efficacy of below knee versus above knee (thigh high) stockings. Surprisingly, the research study done by the Royal Academy of Surgeons in London found no difference in healing between the two styles. In fact they determined that patients preferred below knee stockings. Of course you should always follow your Doctor’s advice, but if you feel strongly enough about it you may want to share this medical paper.