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Enabling chronic wounds to heal: management of leg ulcers

Linda Nazarko explores how leg ulcers are treated, managed and protected and identifies those most at risk

Chronic wounds are defined as wounds that fail to proceed through the normal phases of wound healing in an orderly and timely manner.2 A wound is generally considered chronic if it has failed to heal within 4-6 weeks. Chronic leg ulcers are defined as open lesions between the knee and the ankle that have not healed within 4-6 weeks. Most (around 70%) of leg ulcers occur because of venous insufficiency, arterial ulcers account for about 25% of leg ulcers and around 5% of leg ulcers have both venous and arterial components and are referred to as ulcers of mixed aetiology.3

A chronic venous leg ulcer is ‘an open lesion between the knee and the ankle joint that remains unhealed for at least four weeks and occurs in the presence of venous disease.4

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