Venous leg ulcers respond better to compression stockings than normal bandages, study finds

Multi-layer compression stockings promote more long-lasting healing of venous leg ulcers than traditional bandages, according to a recently published study.

Investigators from the University of Manchester and the University of York in the United Kingdom undertook the clinical trial, which involved about 450 people. Those who wore the compression stockings reported fewer recurrences and required fewer nurse visits than those who used traditional bandages, the researchers found. However, the rate of healing was about equal in the two groups, taking about 100 days.

Venous leg ulcers are chronic wounds that are common in long-term care settings, and costs for treating them are substantial, the study authors noted. They determined that compression stockings represent a better value than bandages but acknowledged some drawbacks.

“Compression bandages are bulky, unattractive and may interfere with normal footwear,” noted chief investigator Jo Dumville, Ph.D. This helps explain why more people wearing stockings changed to bandages than vice-versa, the researchers surmised.

Findings appear in The Lancet.