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Ladders In Compression Stockings


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Help!!!

I persuaded my cardiologist to refer me for compression stockings and I was measured and fitted at my local hospital. I was initially given a pair of 18-24mmHg knee-high socks (very comfy but no help with symptoms). The clinic also ordered 2 pairs of Mediven Elegance knee-highs for me, one 20-30mmHg and the other 30-40mmHg. They were very reluctant to order such high compression despite me showing them an article by Dr Grubb that mentions that support should be 30-40mmHg and waist high.

Apparently I am allowed to have 2 pairs of socks every six months - on on and one in the wash.

The problem is that I have just managed to get a ladder in the reinforced heel section of the 20-30mmHg pair. I have no idea how it got laddered as my shoes are very smooth inside, I never wear them without shoes or slippers and I am very careful to cut and file my nails to avoid snaggs.

Just taking the sock off has resulted in a 8cm ladder, the clear nail varnish I had applied did nothing to stop the run. Has anyone had any success at mending compression stockings? I'm guessing I'd have to use an elasticated thread so that the darn would stretch as I put the sock on.

I've looked online (eg ameswalker) to try to find the same socks to buy myself some more, but can't find anything like the ones the hospital gave me.

Am I chasing a lost cause even thinking about repairing them?

Flop B)

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I dont know of any good repaires but, if you figure out one that works let me know. Hope you have good luck.

So are you stockings covered by your insurance then? Because they can be quite spendy...today I went to the store at my hospital and got some thigh high ones but their compression isnt very high only about 16mmHg...and they only had ones that went to 20 but those were only knee high and I could really use thigh high or even waiste high.

How do you find out what level of compression you actually need?? Do you order your through your doctor?? Like as a prescription???

Thanks,

Mary

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Sorry, no suggestions on repair. When my stockings get a run, I replace them. I buy the type that are not custom fitted, and I get waist high 30-40 level. I think we have some links in the "help yourself" section. I buy from Ames Walker, others I know use Bright Life Direct.

Nina

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Hi Mary,

in the UK we have what is called the National Health Service (NHS) which provides free healthcare to all UK citizens (paid for through our taxes). I was going to post something else about the NHS but then remembered that political topics aren't allowed ooops!

Basically so long as you don't mind waiting you should get health problems sorted on the NHS. We pay a nominal fee for prescription items (about $10 no matter what the drug is). My allowance for NHS stockings is 2 pairs evey 6 months, hence why I need to repair this pair that I have only had for 2 months - they need to last until October before I can get a free replacement pair.

Yes my stockings are "on prescription". My cardiologist referred me to the stocking clinic where a specialist nurse checked the skin on my feet, checked for varicose veins, checked the pulses in my feet, measured the blood pressure in my ankles compared to my arms (ABPI) and took loads of detailed measurements. Essentially they need to check that the compression isn't going to do you any harm and that you get the correct size.

Most of the internet sites selling medical compression hose have sizing charts and pictures showing you where to measure. I guess it might be a good idea to be properly fitted for your first pair then buy further ones from cheaper sources.

Flop

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I got a run on my second wearing of a pair of stockings and called the company. They told me that they'd send another pair-- never did though. I find a big difference between brands. But now, when they run, I give up and buy more. I usually end up paying out of pocket, because my insurance only covers jobst... go figure.

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for small snags/ runs i have had success in repairing with clear nail polish, though i had to use a pretty notable amount & did it while i was still wearing them, making sure it was 100% dry first & putting it on surrounding the run as well.

on a side note, it took me a minute to figure out what a "ladder" was! one of those few terms that doesn't cross the ocean i guess & that i hadn't picked up on from my UK family over the years B)

on a note of "it could be worse", my insurance (which is about as good as it gets insurance wise in most regards) pays for only two pair a year. and i've heard some insurers don't pay for any. my prior insurance also paid for two pair yearly

mary, your insurance may pay for your hose if they are prescribed by a doctor & obtained through a "preferred provider" on your insurance plan. they most often fall under the category of "durable medical supplies". the prescription would have to specify the strength, type/ height (knee, thigh, or waist high), and the reason/ diagnosis that dictates your need for them. in terms of figuring out what strength you need, most autonomic docs feel that the starting point for potential help is 20-30mmHg in terms of pressure & that waist high is the best in terms of length. in terms of best deciding whether or not the hose may help you, getting measured for your first pair is ideal, though that doesn't mean getting them on your own can't be okay.

when i could wear hose regularly, i wore waist high & had most success with 30-40mmHg, though 20-30mmHg did help to a lesser degree. i generally got what i could via my insurance, though only had to get remeasured when i wanted to try a new brand or had a significant weight change. i then bought a few other pairs online on my own as two just wasn't enough to make it through the year when i wore them daily. i've never had them "custom made" as i believe this is generally done only when someone doesn't fit into the pre-made varieties. the better brands often have a lot of size options, not just S/M/L, so that if measured correctly the fit is pretty "custom" without technically being custom made.

:lol: melissa

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you should be able to darn it since its in the heal. I darn mine at any spots, when you do that the area won't stretch and you have to refrain from pulling (to stretch) it at that spot. My repairs have always held.

I use regular thread. The other might be better. Maybe you could call the manufacturer?

You can find darning instructions are on-line. if you need it.

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Hi Flop,

I've had people be reluctant to sell me the 30-40mmMg compression stockings too. Every time I go to a new store the sales lady asks over and over, "You're sure you need 30-40? Your doctor says you need 30-40? You're really young. Are you sure?" On and on! After saying I've been wearing them for years they usually stop asking!

As for fixing ladders/runs I have used clear nail polish. That has usually stopped the run. I had a small hole and a short run in the heel once, but I just left it. It didn't continue to run, so I was able to wear the pair until they lost their compression strength.

Mary,

Some insurance companies cover ?ompression stockings. You'll just have to check. If they do cover the stockings then you might need a prescription from your doctor stating what strength you need and if you need thigh high, waist high, or knee high.

I think most people here use the 30-40mmMg stockings, but some find enough help in the 20-30. A lot of it is trial and error. You just have to keep trying different styles, heights, and compression strengths. Eventually you'll find the one(s) that help you the most.

You can find compression stockings at some medical supply stores. Otherwise, you can order online. Here are two sites people often use: http://www.ameswalker.com and http://www.brightlifedirect.com If your insurance company doesn't cover compression hose then you will probably want to buy them online. It is usually cheaper that way. Recently I went into a store that sold compression hose and they were almost twice the cost of the stockings I had bought on the Ames Walker site! Yikes!

There have been some fairly recent topics on compression stockings. You can try a search if you want to read some more information or see what styles have worked for other people. If you can't find the topic just let me know and I'll help you.

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Your post caught my eye b/c I didn't know what a ladder was either! Like many of the others, I use lots and lots of clear nailpolish to patch up my runs. I keep wearing my compression hose well after it has runs. Under long pants you can't really tell the difference anyway. I think having a run in the foot may not affect the compression, since I believe it starts at the ankle. Some people buy footless hose, and I believe I even remember reading that someone cut off the feet of their hose!

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Thank you for all the responses to my "compression emergency" :)

I hadn't thought that terms such as a "ladder" in stockings would not be known outside of the UK. I guess the term comes from the fact that the run looks like the rungs of a ladder, with stiches going sideways only after the upright thread has unravelled.

I have opted for the slightly easier option of carefully putting the stocking back on (didn't make the ladder any worse) and drenching the area in clear nail polish. I decided to try this first as I think walking on a darn might be rather uncomfortable. My room currently reeks of nail polish and I am waiting until I am sure that it has totally dried before taking it off and washing it.

I've still not yet managed to find any stockings online that match the mediven ones that the hospital gave to me - if I track them down I'll be buying an extra pair!

Thanks again,

Flop

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Well it took a while to get the stocking off - the nail polish had glued it to my heel and had to be very careful gradually peeling it off to not upset the run/ladder in it. I think that maybe I over-did the nail polish as even after washing the whole of the heel area is hard and distorted. I hope it's not too lumpy to walk on (flatter than a darn anyway) - I'll try them out tomorrow and let you know how we get on.

Flop

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Success - have worn them all day and not even noticed any lumpiness from the huge amount of nail-polish I covered the ladder with. The tip about applying the nail-polish whilst wearing them was certainly right - it just stretched back to my heel shape when I put the stocking on. The ladder hasn't run any further either so I think we have successfully resuscitated the stocking - yay!

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Awesome! Glad that worked out for you as those things are quite spendy, but in your case you only get 2 a month if i remeber correctly.

I will have to try that one on the run/ladder i have since it worked for you, hopefully i will be as lucky and succesfull, thanks for letting us know that it does in fact work even if its a larger run!

Have a nice night!

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Thanks Mary,

2 pairs a month would be a luxury. I get 2 pairs every 6 months (they are supposed to last for about 100 washes) but by the sounds of it 4 pairs a year is more than some people get on their US insurance and some have to pay the whole cost themselves!

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Oops hehe i did know that silly brain fog!!!!

Yes two pair a month would be awesome, but actually rather waistefull too!

Have a great night!, or morning i guess for you, i think you said you had a doc. appt. today too, hope that goes well for you!

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glad the repair was a success flop!

:) melissa

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just thought I'd let you know that one month on (and probably about 15 times through the washing machine) the nail polish is still holding up. Can't feel any sort of lumpiness when wearing them and the run hasn't got any larger either. Definitely a sucess.

Now just need to convince my cardiologist that wearing them is helping rather than making me more ill - he wants me to take them off so that my body learns to hold itself up!

Flop

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glad they're holding up, but just an FYI that they will last MUCH longer (not necessarily in terms of visable wear but in terms of the compression) if not put through the washing machine. i realize that hand washing is obviously a lot more labor intensive but thought i'd at least give you the heads up so that you can make your own informed decision. the type of cleanser makes a big difference as well as some will literally eat away at the particular elastic fibers used in the hose.

:( melissa

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hi mary -

they actually make a cleanser that is specifically for compression garmets & while it's a bit more expensive it probably saves money in the long run as it allows the hose to last much longer. i was skeptical at first but experimented with it as well as with other more traditional detergents & could more than tell a difference. i always bought mine at a medical supply store but i'm sure it could be purchased online as well. and a little bit of it really last a long time.

i'm not sure if it's true or not, but i was told at one point that woolite is particularly bad for compression hose...even more so than regular laundry detergent. again i'm not certain about this but am confident that the specially made cleanser than anything else i used over the years (woolite, other gentle detergents, etc.)

hope this helps,

:blink: melissa

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Hi Melissa,

thanks for the hand-washing tip. When I'm at work they just have to go through the machine - I don't have time to hand-wash, and standing at the sink is particularly symptom inducing for me.

The leaflet that came with them says that they will maintain their compression over a 6 month period if worn alternate days and washed in a machine then tumble dried!! I've never put mine anywhere near a tumbledrier.

Flop

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i figured that might be the case for you energy wise flop but just wanted to mention it. i actually had a plastic wash bin i used to avoid using my sink aka standing when i wore hose (can't tolerate them now b/c of GI issues, tubes, etc). i had stools for every sink in my apartment too as i couldn't stand at them long enough to accomplish anything:-)

and yep....despite the directions i think you're wise to keep them out of the dryer!

:blink: melissa

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Hi all. Even though I won't wear my compression hose in the summer, I wear them as soon as it cools down. In the US I was not able to get my hose paid for by insurance but was able to get them reimbursed through my husband's flexible spending account. That at least helps some!

Also, I wash mine in the washer, I just won't do hand washing, but I put them in a garmet bag, like the ones for bras. I also have heard woolite is very hard on bras and other garments like that. So, I use Ivory or Dreft, that was recommeded by the bra department at Nordstrom.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer. It is getting hot in NE Ohio and my energy is lower. But, our town is having fireworks tonight and I am going to try and make it! I will be tired tomorrow.

Amy

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