Q:

How do you reduce swelling in your leg after surgery?

A:

Quick Answer

Compression stockings, elevation and physical therapy are three remedies for swelling in the leg after a surgical procedure. Swelling is generally the result of fluid amassing in tissues, and these remedies help send the fluid back to the bloodstream, according to Caring.com.

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Full Answer

Compression stockings are useful when the swelling is located in the lower leg or legs. The pressure from the stockings pushes fluid out of the tissues and into the bloodstream. However, if swelling is also in the leg(s) above the knee, this does not solve the problem, notes Caring.com.

Elevating the swollen leg when possible is another remedy. The fluid in the tissues follows gravity, and keeping the swollen leg higher than the heart pushes the fluid back toward the bloodstream. Particularly in older people, venous insufficiency is the condition allowing the fluid into the tissues, and elevation forces the fluid back into the blood system, as stated by Caring.com.

Physical therapy after surgery is helpful in preventing and reducing swelling in the legs. These exercises promote movement of the limbs, keeping the fluid from settling and encouraging it back into the bloodstream. If the swollen area is by the surgical site and develops a warm temperature, redness or significant pain, the swelling could be the result of a clot or infection. In these cases, immediate medical attention is necessary, states Caring.com.

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