To compare mobility in patients with venous leg ulcers to matched controls and determine the influence of mobility, age and ulcer size on ulcer healing.
25 leg ulcer patients, and 25 matched controls wore a mobility monitor (ActivPAL™, PAL Technologies Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland)) which recorded the number of steps and amount of time spent walking, standing, sitting or lying for a one-week period. A walking index was calculated. The ulcer group were treated with compression bandaging and ulcer healing recorded over 12 weeks.
There were 13 female subjects in each group. The median age was 70.5 (range 30-89) years. There was no difference in the amount of time either group spent standing, walking and resting. There was a significant reduction in the number of steps taken and in the walking index in the ulcer group compared to controls (ulcer group, median 6,685 steps/day, range 2074-17,999; control group median 8750, range 4917-16,043, p < 0.05, Mann Whitney u test). Smaller ulcers and ulcers of recent onset were most likely to heal within 12 weeks (p = 0.005 and p = 0.011 respectively, Chi squared test). The percentage of time spent mobilising and resting did not influence ulcer healing (rs = -0.125; p = 0.55).
Mobility patterns among patients with leg ulcers are not significantly different to age matched controls. Ulcer patients take fewer steps per week compared to controls indicating they have reduced calf muscle pump function. Further studies are required to determine whether therapies which increase calf muscle activity have a role in ulcer treatment.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery|
|Early online date||2 Feb 2007|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2007|