Shrinker Socks

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-154/2019
  • Departments: Physiotherapy
  • Last Updated: 27 February 2019


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your treatment. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your physiotherapist, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

Why shrinker socks are used?

Shrinker socks are used to help reduce swelling (oedema). They are usually supplied soon after surgery to help reduce post operative swelling. Excessive swelling can delay being fitted with an artificial limb.

How to apply the shrinker

  1. Avoid rough finger nails and jewellery to prevent damage occurring to the shrinker.
  2. Apply your shrinker as you have been shown by your physiotherapist, gently placing the shrinker over your limb and pulling it up so it is smooth and without wrinkles. Ensure your limb goes right to the end of the shrinker.

  Points to remember

  1. YOUR SHRINKER SHOULD NOT CAUSE PAIN OR PINS AND If it does, remove the shrinker and contact your physiotherapist, the Artificial Limb Unit or your GP.
  2. Check the shrinker is always smooth with no wrinkles.
  3. Wash your shrinker daily by hand or at 40°C on a delicate cycle. If washing by hand, rinse thoroughly and do not wring. You can reduce the drying time by placing the washed shrinker on a thick towel, rolling the towel up tightly and firmly pressing out excess moisture. Please refer to the washing symbols on the label sewn into the shrinker.
  4. Wear your shrinker if you are unable to wear your artificial limb (prosthesis).
  5. There is no need to wear your shrinker in bed unless advised to do so.
  6. Do not wear your shrinker with your artificial limb (prosthesis).


Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact: Physiotherapy Department: (01482) 626799 or the Artificial Limb Unit: (01482) 325656

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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