chronic venous ulcers, chronic leg ulcers, management of leg ulcers, evaluation of ulcers, neuropathic ulcers, diabetic ulcers, arterial-ischemic ulcers, arterial ulcers, venous ulcers, leg ulcers
Leg ulcers are a common and often serious problem in older adults. Underlying conditions that increase risk include age-related increases in chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral artery disease, connective tissue and autoimmune conditions, reduced mobility, and diabetes mellitus (DM). Geriatric patients have a higher risk of multiple wound-related complications including infection, cellulitis, ischemia, and gangrene, any of which may lead to further complications including amputation. The very presence of these lower extremity ulcers in the elderly negatively impacts their quality of life and ability to function. Understanding and early identification of the underlying conditions and wound features are important for effective ulcer healing and complication mitigation. This targeted review focuses on the three most common types of lower extremity ulcers: venous, arterial, and neuropathic. The goal of this paper is to characterize and discuss the general and specific aspects of these lower extremity ulcers and their relevancy and impact on the geriatric population. The top five main results of this study can be summarized as follows. (1) Venous ulcers, caused by inflammatory processes secondary to venous reflux and hypertension, are the most common chronic leg ulcer in the geriatric population. (2) Arterial-ischemic ulcers are mainly due to lower extremity vascular disease, which itself tends to increase with increasing age setting the stage for an age-related increase in leg ulcers. (3) Persons with DM are at increased risk of developing foot ulcers mainly due to neuropathy and localized ischemia, both of which tend to increase with advancing age. (4) In geriatric patients with leg ulcers, it is important to rule out vasculitis or malignancy as causes. (5) Treatment is best made on a case-by-case basis, considering the patient's underlying condition, comorbidities, overall health status, and life expectancy.
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Mayrovitz, Harvey N.; Wong, Summer; and Mancuso, Camilla, "Venous, Arterial, and Neuropathic Leg Ulcers With Emphasis on the Geriatric Population." (2023). HPD Articles. 419.
© Copyright 2023 Mayrovitz et al.