Graduated compression stockings to treat acute leg pain associated with proximal DVT: A randomised controlled trial

Susan R. Kahn, Stan Shapiro, Thierry Ducruet, Philip S. Wells, Marc A. Rodger, Michael J. Kovacs, David Anderson, Vicky Tagalakis, David R. Morrison, Susan Solymoss, Marie José Miron, Erik Yeo, Reginald Smith, Sam Schulman, Jeannine Kassis, Clive Kearon, Isabelle Chagnon, Turnly Wong, Christine Demers, Rajendar HanmiahScott Kaatz, Rita Selby, Suman Rathbun, Sylvie Desmarais, Lucie Opatrny, Thomas L. Ortel, Jean Philippe Galanaud, Jeffrey S. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Acute deep venous thrombosis (DVT) causes leg pain. Elastic compression stockings (ECS) have potential to relieve DVT-related leg pain by diminishing the diameter of distended veins and increasing venous blood flow. It was our objective to determine whether ECS reduce leg pain in patients with acute DVT. We performed a secondary analysis of the SOX Trial, a multicentre randomised placebo controlled trial of active ECS versus placebo ECS to prevent the post-thrombotic syndrome.The study was performed in 24 hospital centres in Canada and the U.S. and included 803 patients with a first episode of acute proximal DVT. Patients were randomised to receive active ECS (knee length, 30-40 mm Hg graduated pressure) or placebo ECS (manufactured to look identical to active ECS, but lacking therapeutic compression). Study outcome was leg pain severity assessed on an 11-point numerical pain rating scale (0, no pain; 10, worst possible pain) at baseline, 14, 30 and 60 days after randomisation. Mean age was 55 years and 60% were male. In active ECS patients (n=409), mean (SD) pain severity at baseline and at 60 days were 5.18 (3.29) and 1.39 (2.19), respectively, and in placebo ECS patients (n=394) were 5.38 (3.29) and 1.13 (1.86), respectively. There were no significant differences in pain scores between groups at any assessment point, and no evidence for subgroup interaction by age, sex or anatomical extent of DVT. Results were similar in an analysis restricted to patients who reported wearing stockings every day. In conclusion, ECS do not reduce leg pain in patients with acute proximal DVT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1137-1141
Number of pages5
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Compression
  • Pain
  • Placebos
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Stockings
  • Therapeutics
  • Venous thrombosis


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