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November 2018

Exercise for Leg Ulcers: “Working Out” the Nature of Venous Ulcers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(11):1257-1259. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.2926

In this issue of JAMA Dermatology, Jull et al1 use meta-analysis to suggest an additional healing benefit of exercise in patients with venous leg ulcers (VLUs). Combining and analyzing data from 5 relatively small studies (the largest with 63 participants), the authors found that 61% of participants (57 of 94) who exercised and received compression healed at 12 weeks compared with 46% (44 of 96) of participants who received compression alone. Although the type of exercise administered varied among the trials, the results were driven by 2 studies that used progressive resistance exercises involving calf muscle strengthening coupled with physical activity (walking). In addition to providing rationale for an adjunctive therapeutic modality for patients with VLUs, this article also highlights the power of properly performed meta-analysis to provide clarity where previously none existed.