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The recalcitrant venous leg ulcer - A never ending story?

By S.W.I. (Suzan) Reeder, M.B. (Birgitte) Maessen-Visch, S.I. Langendoen, K.P. de Roos and H.A.M. (Martino) Neumann


Introduction: In general, four particular causes of recalcitrant venous leg ulcers may be distinguished. These are foot pump insufficiency, chronic venous compartment syndrome and non-re-canalized popliteal vein thrombosis. The fourth cause of recalcitrant venous leg ulcers is lipodermatosclerosis as a symptom of severe chronic venous insufficiency. Methods: We reviewed the literature and based on this we describe four main causes of recalcitrant venous leg ulcers and their specific treatment. Results: Foot pump insufficiency arises when the plantar foot veins are not able to empty. Treatment should consist of physical therapy, a mechanical foot pump device and an insole. Lipodermatosclerosis may be treated by excision and split-thickness skin grafting (Vigoni procedure). Chronic venous compartment syndrome is usually caused by postthrombotic syndrome and treatment consists of a fasciectomy, but is rarely used nowadays. Patients with non-re-canalized popliteal vein thrombosis may be supported by intermittent pneumatic compression, walking exercises, alternate standing and walking with lying down. All patients with recalcitrant venous leg ulcers must wear medical elastic compression stockings with high stiffness and high compression lifelong. Conclusions: Patients with recalcitrant venous leg ulceration are challenging. More specific treatment will heal more of these ulcers

Topics: Pathophysiology, Recalcitrant venous leg ulcer, Therapy
Year: 2013
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