May 2003, Volume 33 Number 5 , p 17 - 17
Outline Assessment tips
Treating an arterial ulcer
Graphics Figure. No caption a...
LESS COMMON THAN venous ulcers, arterial ulcers account for up to 20% of leg ulcers. Ischemia from arterial insufficiency leads to arterial ulcers. The most common cause is atherosclerosis; other causes include trauma and thrombosis.
Ulcers develop on the legs or feet distal to the arterial narrowing or blockage. The patient may report intermittent claudication (muscle pain, cramping, numbness, or aching) distal to the blockage.
Take the patient's history, screening for risk factors. A patient with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease may have a history of coronary artery disease or carotid disease. Risk factors for atherosclerosis include age over 50, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hyperhomocystinemia, family history of atherosclerosis, obesity, and a sedentary ...