The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Patients Ask: What Are the Best Socks for Swollen Feet After Surgery?

Posted by on Monday, June 4th, 2018


Podiatric surgery brings up a host of new concerns—not least of which is your impending recovery period. You may be wondering how you’ll get around and return to everyday activities. One of the first things most patients realize is that their old socks don’t seem to cut it in the post-surgical phase. To leave the house, you’ll need socks you can rely upon to keep your feet warm, comfortable, and clean. There are different types of health socks on the market—from practical compression socks that help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), to loose socks for diabetes that encourage better circulation, to pampering spa socks and therapeutic ice socks that provide comfort and pain relief when you’re feeling not-so-fantastic. Here are a few picks from NYC podiatric surgeons who operate on thousands of feet every year.

socks for swollen feet after surgery
Dr. Comfort’s Extra Roomy socks are one of your choices when you need comfortable post-surgery recovery socks. [Image Source: Unsplash user Jisu Han]

Compression Socks

Compression socks work by squeezing the leg tissues to help blood in the veins return to the heart and improve lymph drainage in the cells. In turn, tissue swelling reduces and circulation improves, so the legs feel less tired and achy. They are generally recommended for patients who are at-risk for blood clots in the legs (known medically as DVT), as well as patients with significant leg pain, swelling, varicose veins, leg ulcers, or other circulatory problems. You should not wear compression stockings if you have peripheral neuropathy, skin grafting, skin infection, oozing dermatitis, fragile skin, massive swelling, or congestive heart failure-related edema.

  • Celeste Stein – These fashionista socks are made of 95% nylon and 5% spandex and fit circumferences of up to 24 inches for plus size.
  • Futuro – Designed specifically for post-surgery recovery, these unisex compression socks are soft and durable.
  • MD – These APMA-approved socks are warm, seamless, mild, and woven with antimicrobial, sweat-wicking bamboo.
  • Caresox – This APMA favorite provides light 10-16 mmHg compression, odor-resistant Silver DryStat fibers, and cushioning.

Socks for Swollen Feet After Surgery

Now that your foot is four times its normal size, you may find your old socks don’t quite fit like they used to. The binding that keeps your socks from sliding down when you wear them becomes downright oppressive and the slightest seam digs into your flesh. The best socks for swollen feet after surgery generally have a few features in common: they’re non-binding, seamless, and they’re large. There are slipper socks that come with anti-skid protection, as well as diabetic socks that offer reinforced padding in blister-prone locations. Most health socks will come in lightweight, synthetic fibers that are comfortable to wear.

Comforting Socks

Maybe you’re looking for a thoughtful-yet-practical gift for a loved one who has just had foot surgery. Or perhaps you are looking for a pampering gift for yourself that will lift your spirits when you’re not feeling so comfortable. Cushy spa socks are like a warm hug after surgery. Chenille is one of the nicest materials you’ll ever feel against your skin, with silk being a close second.

  • Chenille Socks – These fuzzy socks are soft enough for a baby’s feet, with non-skid gripper soles and unisex colors.
  • Luxury Silk Socks – Made from 98% German silk, 2% spandex, these seamless socks will envelop you in luxury.
  • Earth Therapeutics Aloe Socks – Infused with moisturizing aloe and Vitamin E, these socks are 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex.
  • Dr. Scholls Spa Collection – APMA-recommended, these soft spa collection socks are low-cut and infused with mint.

Cold Therapy Socks

When recovering from foot surgery, “Ice is nice!” Whenever you encounter pain, ice provides quick, natural relief. Ice also helps keep swelling down, particularly within the first 72 hours. Twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off is a good general guide. Icing too much constricts the blood vessels and slows healing.

For all of your NYC foot surgery needs, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine with any questions or concerns.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.