Podiatrists are specialists at managing many of the wounds that affect the lower limb. Leg and foot wounds are a common problem and may be caused by one or a combination of the following:
• poor circulation
• venous insufficiency (veins that do not work properly)
• lymphoedema (build up of fluid that causes swelling in the legs or feet)
Wounds can be chronic or acute, but it is usually those of a chronic nature which tend to affect the feet and lower limbs due to one or more of the conditions above. Chronic wounds are defined as those that do not appear to follow the normal healing process in less than 4 weeks. These wounds are most commonly located on the lower legs and feet. Chronic ulcers (wounds) are commonly encountered by podiatrists, particularly in elderly patients who have chronic medical conditions therefore wound care for legs and feet is extremely important. Four common types of chronic ulcers are: pressure ulcers, ischemic ulcers, venous ulcers, and neuropathic ulcers.