Papers And Originals

Vertical Leg Drainage of Odema in Treatment of Leg Ulcers

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.5919.581 (Published 15 June 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:581
  1. I. H. J. Bourne

    Abstract

    Since oedema of adjacent tissue is a major factor in preventing healing of leg ulcers conservative treatment should aim to dry out the ulcer area before bandaging and to keep it dry afterwards. A method of postural drainage of oedema is described in which the patient lies supine with the legs raised vertically for two days. Non-stretch Viscopaste bandages are then applied and the patient allowed to move about normally, but instructed to continue vertical leg drainage for a period each day. Out of 106 cases treated by this method the leg ulcer healed within a year in 82 (77·4%). Relapses were apt to occur when the patient neglected to continue the vertical drainage regimen after the ulcer had healed. These results compare well with those reported for other methods of treatment. Vertical leg drainage treatment is inexpensive and the patient can continue at work.