How to apply a spiral wrap

By Nancy Morgan, RN, BSN, MBA, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS

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The spiral wrap is a technique used for applying compression bandaging.


Here’s how to apply a spiral wrap to the lower leg. Please note that commercial compression wraps come with specific instructions for proper bandaging technique. Be sure to follow these instructions to provide safe and effective compression.
1 With the foot flexed at 90 degrees, start the bandage at the center of the ball of the foot, with the lower edge of the bandage at the base of the toes.
2 Wrap either laterally or medially, using two turns around the foot to anchor the bandage.
3 Once the bandage is secure, take it across the foot towards the heel. Keep the bandage low on the heel, just taking in a small area of the sole of the foot.
4 Complete the turn around the heel, coming back towards the foot.
5 Enclose the foot, sealing the gap at the base of the heel.
6 Bring the bandage across the top of the foot to the ankle.
7 Complete the turn around the ankle.
8 Stretch the bandage to 50% capacity and wrap up the leg in a circular fashion, with each turn overlapping the previous layer by 50%.
9 Avoid wrinkles and creases in the bandage as this may cause skin breakdown and uneven compression pressures.
10 Finish 1 inch below the knee.
11 Upon reaching the knee, cut off any excess bandage and secure the bandage with tape. Note: Do not wrap down the leg with any remaining bandage as this would result in a tourniquet effect, pushing the blood flow back toward
the foot instead of toward the heart.
12 If another application of the wrap is
desired, cut the bandage and begin reapplying from the base of the toes, moving up the leg as before.

View: Spiral wrap application

Nancy Morgan, cofounder of the Wound Care Education Institute, combines her expertise as a Certified Wound Care Nurse with an extensive background in wound care education and program development as a nurse entrepreneur.

Information in Apple Bites is courtesy of the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI), copyright 2013.

DISCLAIMER: All clinical recommendations are intended to assist with determining the appropriate wound therapy for the patient. Responsibility for final decisions and actions related to care of specific patients shall remain the obligation of the institution, its staff, and the patients’ attending physicians. Nothing in this information shall be deemed to constitute the providing of medical care or the diagnosis of any medical condition. Individuals should contact their healthcare providers for medical-related information.

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