Should I wear TED Hose or Compression Socks?


TED Anti-Embolism Compression Stockings for Non-Ambulatory Patients

Do I Need T.E.D. Anti-Embolism Stockings?

You should wear anti-embolism stockings when you are recovering from surgery, a long illness, or otherwise confined to bed. Anti-embolism stockings are not meant to be worn while you are walking around or going about your day normally. The word that is used most often is "ambulatory" or "non-ambulatory". Ambulatory is when you are able to get up and walk around and non-ambulatory would be the opposite. Anti-embolism stockings have a different kind of compression structure, the compression changes as the stocking moves up the leg. This style of compression is best suited for non-ambulatory usage. For the best results, you should not use them when you are going to work or able to freely walk around your home.


...Or Do I Need Compression Stockings or Socks?

Compression legwear can be worn anytime you are out of bed and can be used to treat anything from tired and achy legs or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Medical compression is available in a variety of compression levels. Each compression level is intended for different uses and it can be helpful to read our "Compression Stocking and Socks Buyer's Guide" for a more complete look at how to measure yourself for stockings as well as how to decide which compression level you will need. Compression stockings or socks should not be used when you are in bed recovering from illness or surgery. They are not intended to be worn during pro-longed hospital stays either. They are best used when you are able to move around. Anti-embolism stockings and compression stockings are both useful for the treatment of venous conditions but they are not the same. When used correctly TED stockings and compression socks can have beneficial results. However, they should not be used interchangeably.


Compression Dress Socks and Athletic Compression Socks Compression Stockings/Socks = Ambulatory
Able to walk around and/or move your legs and the level of compression needed will be determined by your medical team and caregivers.

T.E.D. Anti-Embolism Stockings = Non-ambulatory
Unable to walk freely due to surgery recovery or illness, if you are on bed rest then you are considered "non-ambulatory". TED stockings are designed specifically for non-ambulatory usage.

The Many Names of Compression Socks

I have lamented many times while writing this blog that common medical supplies are commonly known by many different names. This is definitely true of compression. Manufactures add variety to what they offer and they will call this new item by a new name. The new name gets repeated and then starts getting applied to over forms and suddenly this new name that was once specific is now more generic. This can be confusing to say the least.

    Common Names for Compression Legwear:

    Compression Stockings and Socks, Pantyhose, Athletic, and Dress Styles
  • Support Hose- in general this would refer to a light to medium level compression that is in a "pantyhose" style
  • Support Stocking - this can refer to compression that is knee-high or thigh-high in a variety of compression levels
  • Compression Stocking - generic term for compression that can mean any level or length
  • Compression Hose - in general, hose means "pantyhose"
  • Compression Socks - this would refer to a variety of compression levels but would only be knee-high and can be in the sport compression style or the business socks style
  • Pressure Stocking- this is an older term for compression stockings or socks
  • Medical Compression Stockings- this refers to compression levels that are 15 - 20 mmHg and above
  • Anti-Embolism Stockings - commonly known as TED Hose and they are typically found in hospitals and are used by non-ambulatory people recovering from surgery or illness
  • Lymphedema Stockings - refers to compression used to treat edema and other venous issues
  • Athletic Compression Socks - this term refers specifically to the compression socks designed to be worn by athletes during exercise to increase circulation as well as improving their post workout recovery time






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