Venous ulcers: A reappraisal analyzing the effects of neuropathy, muscle involvement, and range of motion upon gait and calf muscle function

Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida 33136, USA.
Wound Repair and Regeneration (Impact Factor: 2.75). 03/2009; 17(2):147-52. DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2009.00468.x
Source: PubMed


Chronic venous insufficiency is a complex disease that can result in severe sequelae including venous ulceration. Though the exact progression from chronic venous insufficiency to venous ulcer remains unclear, the high cost and burden of this disease on patients and society is quite clear. Sustained ambulatory venous pressures or venous hypertension plays an integral role in the development of venous ulceration and involves the failure of the calf muscle pump system. Standard of care involves compression therapy to assist the calf muscle pump. However, several cofactors may contribute to or exacerbate this disease and understanding their impact may provide insight into new treatment modalities. Nerve involvement, which may result in neuropathic pain and muscle dysfunction, alterations in mobility and a decrease in range of motion may lead to gait alterations all affecting calf muscle pump function. In this paper, we analyze these cofactors and discuss possible treatment options to target them. Physicians treating this disease should be aware of the numerous factors involved in its development. Exploring new treatment options may 1 day lessen the burden and suffering caused by venous insufficiency.

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