Indexed on: 29 Nov '12Published on: 29 Nov '12Published in: Plastic surgical nursing : official journal of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Nurses
Leg ulceration can be defined as any chronic ulcer of the lower leg excluding those on the forefoot or toes (Lees & Lambert, 1992). Venous or stasis ulcers account for 80%-85% of all leg ulcers with an overall prevalence of approximately 1% in the United States (Collins & Seraj, 2010; O'Meara, Al-Kurdi, & Ovington, 2008). Venous ulcers are more common in women and the older population (Abbade & Lastoria, 2005; Bergqvist, Lindholm, & Nelzen, 1999). Venous ulcers are often recurrent and chronic and can persist from weeks to even years. Severe complications include cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and malignant changes (Collins & Seraj, 2010). This column discusses the pathophysiology of venous insufficiency and ulcerations, presentation, diagnosis, and current treatment.