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Leg ulcer not healing - Carers UK Forum

Leg ulcer not healing

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Does any on where have experience of a leg ulcer not healing?
We've been worried about Mums (95 very soon) leg not healing. She fell and knocked it over 18 months ago and it has been being dressed by district nurses once or twice a week since then. Not only is it not improving its getting worse so she is now being taken twice a week to a specialist nurse at the clinic.
Thats all I know as in this case I am the helicopter who lives 100 miles away ;)
Is this usual? Rare? is there any more I can do?
Hi Mrs A
Dad had leg ulcers for a number of years and on two separate occasions they had taken a similar time 18 months plus of not healing with dsometimes daily and always twice weekly attention from D/N.
The only thing that cleared them up each time was hospitalisation and enforced bed rest for prolonged periods " 6 weeks or 3 months at a time) . I could never get Dad to raise his legs or rest in the afternoon and I think it was the permanent raised legs that helped the heeling each time.
So hard when patient refuses or this is impractical to manage.
Poor circulation doesn't help. I bought a "Circulation Booster", electrically stimulating the muscles (VAT exempt for the disabled), after my knee swelled after surgery. An amazing difference for someone sceptical. Check that it's OK to use, I understand it's not suitable for some people with heart issues.
My mum who’s 93 has had an ulcer for 6 months which isn’t healing. It’s dressed every day by district nurses at home.We have an appointment at the vascular clinic on Tuesday. They seem to be the experts in ulcer care. Maybe that’s the type of clinic your mum attends? We’ve been told that a combination of age and underlying causes including poor circulation can mean that the ulcer may never heal completely. This may be similar to your mum’s problems. We’ve been told mum may need to be admitted to hosp to try and improve condition of ulcer and achieve pain management. Lying in bed is very painful for mum. I know it’s best to have legs raised but I hate to see her in such pain when in bed. Don’t know how she’d cope in hospital. Often sleeps in armchair just to get some rest without pain. Unfortunately it sounds like your mum’s situation is more common than you’d think. No comfort to you but I hope she’s getting proper care and an appointment at a vascular clinic if she hasn’t already.
Am electric riser/reclining chair can be useful, a good compromise between an ordinary chair and bed. My mum loved hers, said it was better than bed even the day before she died.
Thanks all. It's a relief to know she's not unusual. The NHS site said 3-4 months to heal but this one is definitely deteriorating. My big bro is dealing but he's 70 and not au fait with all the terminology. I'm visiting next week so can see for myself. She's been confused lately and we are not sure why. She's been doing so well until now This ageing lark ain't easy is it? :(
No advice, to offer. Just to say, my Granny had a leg ulcer, which she definitely had for well over 3 to 4 months. She used to rest her leg on a footstool.

It does sound like its just one more symptom of an ageing human body 'running down' almost like an old machine starting to fail more and more.....

We know that 'regeneration' slows right down as we age (happening to me already!), and I guess the body's ability to get the skin's stem cells to divide and generate fresh healthy skin declines, especially if there is 'assault' on the area via a wound. Circulation is likely to be poor, especially as mobility decreases. Bit of a vicious circle.

My MIL now has chronic skin problems in her legs, which are always bandaged now. All very grim.

I guess the most important factor is not being in pain - that would be completely unacceptable.
My mum, when in her forties, used to have dreadful ulcers on her legs, holes the size of a 10p piece on her calves, the only thing which gave her relief was me massaging her legs, with her foot in my lap. As a teenager, how I absolutely hated having to do that. However, later mum had surgery on her legs, and when she was 87 her legs looked lovely!
Gentle massage like this should help the discomfort.
I'm wondering if anyone has taken any swabs of the area of the ulcer to see if there is any infection?
bowlingbun wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:11 am
I'm wondering if anyone has taken any swabs of the area of the ulcer to see if there is any infection?
yep it is infected, hence the referral to the specialist . She also has sudden onset confusion so something is bubbling away somewhere. :?