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January 8, 1982

Leg UlcerConservative Management or Surgical Treatment?

JAMA. 1982;247(2):197-199. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320270035019

In a specific indigent socioeconomic setting, the nonsurgical management of 65 patients with chronic leg ulcers resulted in 59 cures. There were 42 patients (67%) with postphlebitic syndrome. Twenty-two patients (33%) had varicose veins (eight had postoperative vein stripping), 14 (22%) had deep-vein thrombosis, and 11 (15%) had associated neurological problems. Fifty-six patients (86%) were treated with pressure dressings that were changed once a week in an outpatient clinic, seven patients wore skintight plaster casts for variable periods of time, and two patients had splitthickness skin grafts plus lumbar sympathectomies. In more than two thirds of the patients, the ulcers healed. In another 17 patients (26%), a satisfactory response to treatment was observed. In only six patients did therapy fail. Failures were attributed to the multiple medical and surgical problems of the patients or their lack of cooperation. Nonsurgical treatment of venous stasis ulcer is inexpensive and effective.

(JAMA 1982;247:197-199)