Round-knit or flat-knit compression garments for maintenance therapy of lymphedema of the leg? - Review of the literature and technical data

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2019 Aug;17(8):775-784. doi: 10.1111/ddg.13895. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


To date, there have been no studies comparing flat-knit and round-knit compression garments for maintenance therapy of lymphedema of the leg. According to expert opinion, flat-knit fabrics are generally recommended for this purpose. Given the differences in the clinical presentation of lymphedema in terms of disease stage and location as well as patient adherence, and, last but not least, for economic reasons, it seems questionable whether all patients with lymphedema of the leg actually do require flat-knit compression garments. Considering technical aspects, published data and our own clinical experience, it seems reasonable that the choice of compression stockings be based on clinical findings and not on the diagnosis. Typical indications for flat-knit garments include significant differences in leg circumference as well as deep skin folds and edema of the toes/forefoot. However, there are also patients with lymphedema who benefit from round-knit fabrics with a high degree of stiffness. In any case, prior to maintenance therapy, it is essential to adequately decongest the legs using compression bandages and/or adaptive compression systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clothing / adverse effects*
  • Compression Bandages / adverse effects*
  • Compression Bandages / economics
  • Edema / pathology*
  • Elasticity
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Foot / pathology
  • Humans
  • Leg / anatomy & histology
  • Leg / pathology
  • Lymphedema / complications
  • Lymphedema / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Stockings, Compression / adverse effects*
  • Stockings, Compression / economics