Compression Stockings For Large Legs

If you have large legs finding compression stockings that fit well can be a challenge.  For people with cone shaped legs, rolling and sliding is often a problem.  There are solutions for both of these issues.

Large or Thick Legs

Most manufacturers make wide-calf styles designed for customers with larger legs.

The largest knee high available is the Sigvaris Comfort PLUS which comes in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg. The X-Large size in this product can fit a calf up to 28″ around and they come in short and long lengths.

Therafirm Core-Spun products are a great option for larger legs. Core-Spun Knee High Socks are available for men and women. The largest size will accommodate a 17 inch ankle with up to a 25.5 inch calf. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are now available in sizes up to XXXL. They will fit an ankle up to 19″ in circumference, and a thigh up to 39.5″. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are designed for men and women, come in three compression levels and two colors: black and white. Sizes XL-XXXL are offered in the 15-20 and 20-30mmHg compressions only. You can see where you’d fit on the size chart below:

Allegro Surgical Weight Knee Highs 20-30mmHg are available in Wide-Calf sizes that fit a calf circumference up to 26 inches and an ankle up to 15.5 inches. The Surgical Thigh High and Allegro Sheer Thigh Highs are sized up to XXX-Large to fit a 15.5 inch ankle and 36 inch thigh. A customer who purchased the Surgical Weight Knee highs said, “This product fit perfectly and I have really big calves… not too tight – comfortable. Wore them all day!” The Allegro products are a great, affordable option for most customers.

Mediven Extra-Wide Calf sizes are available in Medi PlusMedi Comfort,  Mediven for MenMedi Assure and Mediven Forte, 20-30 mmHg and higher. Medi Extra-Wide calf sizes vary by size, so be sure to check the specific size chart for the stocking you want.

Juzo has begun carrying a line of Varin Max products designed for larger legs. Size V will fit an ankle up to 14 inches, a calf up to 26 inches and a thigh up to 37 inches. The Max line is available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg in knee highs and thigh highs.

Jobst Full-Calf sizes are designed to fit a calf circumference of 18-24 inches and an ankle up to 14 inches. These sizes are available in Jobst for Men CasualJobst ActiveWearJobst Relief, and Jobst UltraSheer in 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg. Full-Calf sizes are available in Jobst Opaque 20-30mmHg and higher.

Cone Shaped Legs

When I first heard this term, I thought, “Well, nearly everyone has a cone-shaped leg – the ankle is always smaller than the thigh.” But, that is not the shape we’re speaking of when it comes to socks and stockings. When you measure your legs, most people will find that their knee circumference is smaller than the widest point of the calf. In a cone-shaped leg, the measurements do not decrease at any point as you move up the leg – the calf and knee are about the same measurement.

If your leg is cone-shaped, compression knee highs have a tendency to roll or slide. A sticky silicone top-band will typically solve this problem. Knee highs with silicone top-bands are available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.

Both Jobst and Mediven have launched a new design of the silicone top band where they use sticky silicone fibers that are woven through the top band. This creates a more gentle hold against the skin. The Mediven product is called Vitality and Jobst is called SoftFit.

If you still have difficulty keeping the silicone top band in place, using a light adhesive at the band is a great option. It Stays is a water-soluble skin glue that is hypo-allergenic and safe for all compression stockings. It’s available in a 2oz roll-on bottle. A dab or two of It Stays will keep your knee highs and thigh highs up all day.

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month!

In honor of Lymphedema Awareness Month, BrightLife Direct is donating part of this month’s sales to the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN). This organization utilizes education and research to fight lymphedema and lymphatic disease. We are teaming up with lymphedema blogger, Britta Vander Linden to support the cause. Find out more about LE&RN, Britta’s inspiring story, and some of the causes and symptoms of lymphedema below.

Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN)

Wendy Chaite founded LE&RN when she became frustrated with the lack of resources available for her daughter, who was born with systemic lymphatic disease. This organization is fighting to find a cure for lymphedema, while assisting in the education and research of this condition along the way. Kathy Bates is currently the spokesperson for LE&RN, and recently appeared on The Doctors to talk about her experience with lymphedema. This summer, Kathy is celebrating her birthday by hosting a 5k Run/Walk to Fight Lymphedema and Lymphatic Diseases in Santa Monica, CA on June 28th. There are tons of events you can get involved with to make a difference. If you live on the east coast, check out the 6th Annual Walk on September 19th on the Brooklyn Bridge!

Every day, LE&RN is helping to find the answers that hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are affected by lymphedema are looking for. Check out their website for the latest research, information and events. You can even ask the experts to find the answer you need. LE&RN is dedicated to answering the questions that most doctors can’t. To this day, there is not much information on lymphedema, and LE&RN is actively working to change this.

LEARN_DinnerCheck out Britta (second from left), her husband, Luke (far left), fellow honorees and members of LE&RN’s staff at a LE&RN event last year. She was honored for her remarkable work on her blog, Lymphedema Diary, and also for her years in support of the LE&RN organization.

About Britta

Britta was diagnosed with primary lymphedema in both of her legs when she was 23 years old. When she first found out she had lymphedema, she was panicked and worried. She had questions about her condition that doctors couldn’t figure out the answers to. Instead it was her dad who came to the rescue to find the answers she was seeking. “He is my Lymphedema Hero” she says. More often than not, when someone is diagnosed with lymphedema, they feel like they are left in the dark. Britta defines lymphedema as “a medical condition that many medical professionals cannot diagnose, do not understand, and are incapable of advising patients about, leaving patients to seek guidance from strangers on blogs.” She thinks that anyone with lymphedema can relate to this statement. LE&RN is working to change this by promoting the education of lymphedema to teach people about the symptoms early on, and about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The same year Brita was diagnosed was the year that LE&RN was founded. Since then, Britta has relied on LE&RN for medical information, resources and hope for a cure. She feels that “LE&RN has done more to put lymphedema on the medical radar and to directly sponsor lymphatic research than any other organization that she is aware.” To this day, LE&RN has done an incredible job of educating and advocating lymphedema.

Although Britta sarcastically describes her condition as mild, it significantly affects her daily life. “I cannot stand up for more than a few minutes without the help of compression stockings.  I begin experiencing pain, swelling, heaviness and sometimes feelings of pins and needles in my legs.  Even when I have the stockings on, I can’t stand for long periods of time.  Lymphedema factors into every aspect of my life –what I wear, how I sleep, when I take a shower, what kind of car I drive, what exercise I do…So no matter the severity level, the effect of lymphedema on a person’s life, self-esteem and pocket book never feels mild.”

About Lymphedema

LE&RN defines lymphedema as “an abnormal collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin. This swelling, or edema, occurs most commonly in the arm or leg, but it also may occur in other parts of the body including the breast or trunk, head and neck, or genitals.” The lymphatic system helps to maintain your immune system. It can develop in any area of your body where the lymph nodes are not getting enough lymph, which is the fluid in the tissues that builds up due to abnormal flow. Lymphedema usually begins at the farthest part of your limb such as your hand/wrist or in your foot/ankle. If your limbs feel heavy, swelling occurs, your skin feels tight, or if you experience decreased mobility and flexibility in your foot, ankle, wrist or hand, you should contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms may be the start of lymphedema. If this has happened to you before, do not ignore it! Just because the problem may take a backseat for a while, it doesn’t mean that the issue is solved. There is not enough research at this point in time for doctors to immediately point to lymphedema as the cause. A lot of the time, it takes multiple doctors to figure out the problem. LE&RN is working to teach people about lymphedema to catch it early on.

PRIMARY LYMPHEDEMA – People who have primary lymphedema like Britta are born with an abnormal lymphatic system. Although primary lymphedema is rare, many people are still affected by it. A lot of the time it is hereditary. Primary lymphedema can occur when the lymph nodes form abnormally. This is called congenital lymphedema, or Milroy’s disease. Lymphedema praecox, also known as Meige’s disease, is the most common form of primary lymphedema. It is usually noticed in the lower extremities around puberty, especially in girls, or during pregnancy. Another form of primary lymphedema that occurs around the age of 35 or later is called lymphedema tarda (late-onset lymphedema), which appears in the lower extremities in men and women.

SECONDARY LYMPHEDEMA – When you damage your lymphatic system from trauma, surgery, radiation or infection, secondary lymphedema can occur. This condition is often caused by cancer treatment. Radiation can damage your lymph nodes, which can decrease lymphatic flow. When you are undergoing this type of treatment, make sure to keep an eye out for any changes in skin color, redness or blistering. Secondary lymphedema occurs when the flow of lymph is blocked or altered. When your lymph nodes are removed due to melanoma, colon, prostate/testicular, bladder or breast cancer, your risk of secondary lymphedema significantly increases. Scar tissue can also be a factor.

Treatment & Prevention

While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce discomfort and swelling. Try elevating your limb and keeping it clean and dry to decrease swelling and irritation. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating foods that are high in protein and avoiding salty foods are also important. When you have lymphedema, it is extremely important to stay as active as possible to keep the lymph fluids moving. Do not sit or stand for long periods of time without moving around. If you work at a desk, make sure you wear compression socks! If you have lymphedema in the lower extremities, it is important to wear compression stockings to increase circulation, decrease swelling and discomfort.

After surgery for breast or prostate cancer, avoid injections into the area. You should also try to keep your arm or leg elevated, and do not apply heat. It is also important not to do any heavy lifting with the arm and to avoid constricting the area with tight clothing. Make sure you keep the area protected from injuries and infection. Wear a compression arm sleeve to increase circulation and decrease swelling. LympheDIVAs is an amazing company that makes fashionable compression arm sleeves. The company was founded after two breast cancer survivors decided to change the game and make compression sleeves fun, comfortable and elegant for people who will wear them every day for the rest of their lives. To them, wearing beige, rough textured, bandage-like arm sleeves was a bore. Now, they have tons of cute patterns and colors to choose from! LympheDIVAs also works with LE&RN to promote education and awareness about lymphedema.

Together, We Can Make A Difference

The Lymphatic Education and Research Network has made great strides in lymphedema awareness, education and research. With your help, we can make a difference. During the month of March, Brightlife Direct is donating 1% of the total purchase price to LE&RN. To participate, enter coupon code “DONATE” at checkout. Stay up to date on our blog this month for more information on lymphedema. Comment or share this post and tell us what you are doing for Lymphedema Awareness Month! Special thanks to Britta for her inspiring story and support! Check out her blog below: lymphedema_diary Additional Resources

Lymphatic Education & Research Network

Lymphedema facts, treatments and guidelines

Kathy Bates – Life With Lymphedema

Occupational Therapy Case Study – Primary Lymphedema

Great Lymphedema Blogs and Communities

Compression Products

Juzo

Farrow Medical

LympheDIVAs

Armsleeves

Gloves & Gauntlets

Custom Compression Garments

How We Became Breast Cancer Thrivers

All Lymphedema Products

New Core-Spun Thigh Highs

We began selling Core-Spun compression knee highs back in March 2009.  They were an instant success – customers couldn’t stop raving about how stretchy and comfortable these socks were.

See what our customers were saying:Therafirm Core Spun Review Therafirm Core Spun Review Therafirm Core Spun Review

Core-Spun stockings are soft and ultra stretchy, so they’re easier to put on and take off.  The secret is in the yarn.  Knit-Rite, the company behind Core-Spun, wraps fibers of polyester around an inner core of Lycra creating one yarn.  This soft, elastic, and durable yarn is now being knit into thigh high stockings.

Core-Spun Mens Thigh-HighCore-Spun Womens Thigh-High

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Core-Spun Thigh Highs are available in black and white, and in three compression levels, 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg.  They have a silicone-dot band to keep the stocking comfortably in place.  Designed for both men and women, Core-Spun thigh highs are available in a short and long length.  Sizing is currently limited to Small through X-Large, however, later this year sizing will be available to fit an ankle up to 19” and a calf up to 39.5”.  These will be the largest ready-to-wear sizes available in a compression thigh high.

Core-Spun Thigh High Size Chart

If you need compression above the knee and you want a thicker material that’s easy to put on and take off, try a pair of the new Core-Spun Thigh Highs.

Compression Thigh Highs for Large Legs

Have you ever put on compression thigh highs that are just too small? The fabric won’t stretch. They’re impossible to pull over your knees. They roll down so that you’re constantly yanking them back up into place. They’re just unbearably uncomfortable.

Well, our team at BrightLife strives to find socks and hosiery for every size leg.  We’ve compiled a list of great options for anyone with a larger thigh, so you don’t have to hunt for them. As always, our certified fitters can help you choose the right size for your legs – you can reach them at 1-877-545-8585 (toll-free).

 

Allegro Sheers

Allegro Sheer Support

15- 20 mmHg

20 – 30 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 36” (91 cm). These thigh highs are a customer favorite for the affordable price and great quality – check the reviews! They come in five different colors.

 

 

 

Medi SheerMedi Sheer & Soft

15-20 mmHg

20-30 mmHg

30-40 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 34.25” (87 cm). These thigh highs are extremely comfortable and come in five different colors.  They even feature a lace silicone top band to keep the stockings comfortably in place.

 

 

medi comfortMedi Comfort

15-20 mmHg

20-30 mmHg

30-40 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 34.25” (87 cm). These thigh highs are available in ebony or natural and feature a beaded silicone top band –  great for individuals with sensitive skin. High-tech fabric construction promises to keep legs cool and comfortable.

 

 

medi comfort with laceMedi Comfort With Lace

15-20 mmHg

20-30 mmHg

30-40 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 34.25” (87 cm). These thigh highs have all the great features of the Medi Comfort but with an added lacy trim for those looking for a little extra style.

 

 

Medi PlusMedi Plus

20-30 mmHg

30-40 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 34.25” (87 cm). These opaque thigh highs are designed for men and women, great for concealing scarring, varicose veins or blemishes on the leg.  Though they only come in beige, these stockings have closed or open toe options and regular and petite sizing. For anyone who wants the Medi comfort and quality without the lace – these are your stockings.

 

 

Juzo Varin

Juzo Varin 

20-30 mmHg

30-40 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 37” (94 cm). Available in beige, black or chestnut, these soft, stretch thigh highs are incredibly durable and comfortable. Depending on your height, you can order these thigh highs in short or regular sizing. They are also available with an open or closed toe.

 

 

 

Allegro SurgicalAllegro Surgical

20-30 mmHg

Fits a thigh circumference up to 34” (86 cm). These unisex thigh highs come in beige or black and open or closed toe. Made with surgical weight fabric – these thigh highs are two to three times less expensive than similar name brand products.

 

 

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If ready-to-wear thigh highs just won’t fit your legs – check out these compression alternatives:

 

FarrowWrap ThighFarrowWrap Classic

FarrowWrap Thigh

FarrowWrap Leg

The FarrowWrap system is a great alternative for full-leg compression. FarrowWrap pieces provide a wider range of compression than traditional thigh highs. When active, the pieces provide a higher working compression and when you are stationary, they provide a comfortable resting compression. These wraps also eliminate the trouble of pulling a stocking over the foot and up the leg.

For full-leg compression, you should purchase both a thigh piece and a lower leg piece. You can also purchase a FarrowWrap foot piece to complete the system. Farrow has several different versions of this great product:

  • Basic: FarrowWrap Basic is an economical version of the Wrap system. It can be machine washed and dried and provides moderate to strong compression.
  • Lite: FarrowWrap Lite provides mild to moderate compression. Must be hand washed.
  • Classic: FarrowWrap Classic is designed for moderate to severe leg swelling. Must be hand washed.
  • Strong: FarrowWrap Strong is designed for moderate to severe leg swelling. It can be machine washed and dried.

 

CompreFitComprefit

This durable and light-weight wrap fits easily under most clothing and eliminates the stress of pulling on traditional compression thigh highs. The non-elastic straps provide 30-40mmHg active compression, with a lower resting compression. It can be combined with the calf unit for full leg compression and is appropriate for day and night wear. Calf units are available in two different versions:

  • BK: Provides 30-40 mmHg of active compression with a lower resting compression, like the thigh piece. Includes a pair of seamless cotton liners.
  • BK Plus: The Plus line includes all of the great BK features but also has a high density, low profile foam liner. This soft foam evenly distributes the compression and is great for use on granulation tissue.

 

By Brita @ BrightLife Direct
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The Big and Tall Shop

It”s not easy finding ready-to-wear compression stockings that will fit very large legs. Custom stockings are one option, but they can be prohibitively expensive.  Several compression hosiery manufacturers have recently updated their product sizing to fit more individuals with off the shelf sizing.  Here they are.

Juzo recently introduced MAX sizes in their Dynamic (Varin) line of stockings.  MAX sizes are available in 20-30 and 30-40mmHg knee highs and thigh highs with silicone top-bands.  They will fit an ankle circumference up to 14.75″, a calf up to 26″ and a thigh up to 37″.  Dynamic (Varin) stockings are made of a very durable fabric.  They”re available in three colors, in regular and short lengths, with an open or closed toe.

Therafirm has just updated their Core-Spun sizing.  The Full-Calf is now XX-Large, and all of the calf size ranges have been increased to fit larger legs.  Current wearers should double check the new size chart to confirm your size hasn”t changed.

Farrow Hybrid socks are now available in an X-Large to fit a man”s shoe size of 15, and a woman”s 16.  Hybrid socks only provide compression to the foot and are designed to be worn in conjunction with a FarrowWrap legpiece.

If you”re having trouble finding a ready-to-wear compression solution that will fit, give us a call (1-877-545-8585) or send us an email.  We have a network of therapists around the country that can assist with sizing either a custom stocking or alternative compression garment.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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