Assessment of leg ulcer

References Definition An ulcer is defined as a breakdown in the skin that may extend to involve the subcutaneous tissue or even to the level of muscle or bone. These lesions are common, particularly on the lower extremities. Leg and foot ulcers have many causes that may further define their character. Ulcerations associated with diabetes are the most common cause of foot ulcers.

Assessment of leg ulcer

It must be replaced annually. Other factors to consider and deal with include: For neuropathic pain, amitriptyline can be started which can be replaced by gabapentin if no improvement.

The dose can be titrated upwards. Requires pressure relief for the ulcer to heal especially over bony prominences. While the exact mechanism of larval therapy remains unknown, it encompasses three processes: The beneficial effects of larval therapy were first observed during the Napoleonic war by Larrey, who noted that soldiers whose wounds had become infested with maggots had an improved prognosis During the First World War, Baer documented the successful treatment of leg ulcers and osteomyelitis using larval therapy, and paved the way for further use of it by doctors of that time.

The emergence of antibiotic- resistant strains of bacteria such as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus MRSA and the curiosity of researchers has prompted a resurgence of interest in larval therapy. Larval therapy has been employed effectively to treat a wide spectrum of wounds including venous and arterial leg ulcers Some of the benefits of larval therapy include: Larval therapy is also reported as being cost-effective in comparison with conventional wound dressings.

The use of larval therapy often resulted in quicker healing, and a subsequent reduction of nursing time and materials A further advantage of larval therapy is that, as larvae are typically applied for 3 days, wounds are disturbed less frequently than conventional dressings that require changing every days.

In addition to this, a further advantage is that treatment can usually be carried out in outpatient and community settings. Larvae offer the benefit of eliminating bacteria from the wound through ingestion and subsequent degradation within their intestinal tract.

They also act to reduce bacterial activity through the production of inhibitory secretions. The most commonly mentioned disadvantage of larval therapy is the negative perception with which it is regarded by both patients and practitioners because of the unpleasant appearance.

Pain has occasionally been reported by patients, the cause may be the sharp mouth hooks and spicules with which larvae anchor themselves onto tissue.

Assessment and Management of Venous Leg Ulcers | Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Alteration of the disinfection process appeared to eliminate this problem, and with no further cases of sepsis occurring during the subsequent 12 months The risk of cross-infection by escaped larvae may be greatly reduced through careful dressing.

Negative pressure, as a method of management for difficult to heal wounds, was initially explored inwith the first wound drainage system being introduced in The use of negative pressure to heal wounds, however, is more commonly associated with the work of Argenta and Morykwas in VAC therapy promotes healing in several ways.

Firstly, the foam dressing, in combination with adhesive tape, creates an occlusive dressing. This alone prevents dessication and increases the rate at which epithelial tissue is developed, therefore aiding healing times.

Occlusive dressing prevents an increase in infection. Secondly, the suction effect and the mechanical forces generated at the interface of the foam work to decrease interstitial fluid accumulation, control wound exudates, stimulate granulation tissue formation, reverse tissue expansion, decrease bacterial colonisation and increase blood flow and dermal perfusion.

In summary, VAC therapy aids wound healing by: VAC therapy should also not be used in wounds with malignancy.


It is the only means of reconstructing a defect in the skin, regardless of the cause of the defect Generally, skin grafting is used when, in the opinion of the reconstructive surgeon, other methods of reconstruction such as primary closure, secondary intention healing, or local skin flap are inappropriate, are unavailable or would produce a suboptimal result.

Skingraft are divided into 2 major categories: STSGs may be subdivided into thin 0. STSGs are the one used in covering chronic unhealing cutaneous ulcer. Split skin grafting is technically demanding and requires hospital admission The discharge from the surface of venous ulcers tends to dislodge continuous sheets of split skin, leaving a choice between mesh and pinch skin grafting.

Assessment of leg ulcer

Pinch skin grafting provides epithelial islands, from which epithelial growth may spread outwards as well as inwards from the ulcer margin. Pinch skin grafting has been done by district nurses in the community and has been found to be cost effective accelerating healing when used with multilayer compression bandaging.Leg ulcer assessment The leg ulcer assessment should encourage a systematic approach to the investigation of cause.

The following information needs to be ascertained: History of ulceration: date and cause of onset, treatment so far, previous episodes and treatment. Presence of swelling: duration, reduction overnight, family history. management, including assessment of leg ulcers, in areas of the UK and locally.

Assessment and clinical investigations should be undertaken by a health care professional trained in leg ulcer . Each year, more than million people in the United States develop pressure ulcers. These skin lesions bring pain, associated risk for serious infection, and increased health care utilization.

The aim of this toolkit is to assist hospital staff in implementing effective pressure ulcer prevention practices through an interdisciplinary approach to care. Chapter One *A Brief Overview of a Venous Leg Ulcer *and the Assessment Process The nurse must have the skills and knowledge to identify a venous leg ulcer.

Dowsett () believes that it is important that nurses and other health care professionals look for the underlying cause of an ulcer.


(top of section) (top of page)What is a Pressure Ulcer? Previously called decubitus or bed sore, a pressure ulcer is the result of damage caused by pressure over time . Abstract. Graduated compression hosiery is the recognised gold standard for the treatment of venous ulcers, usually in the form of four-layer bandaging.

Peptic ulcers: diagnosis and tests -