Expert & Leader of department: Prof. Joachim Dissemond, M. D.
Ulcus cruris, also referred to in layman’s terms as “open leg” – refers to deep-seated ulcers on the lower legs or feet with a poor healing rate. The wounds are open, mostly moist and can have a nauseous odor. The poor healing trend can be explained by the lack of blood flow to the affected tissues, which is responsible for all forms of Ulcus cruris. If the ulcer does not heal within twelve months with optimal therapy, the wound is said to be treatment-refractory.
In the majority of cases, venous diseases such as varicose veins or thromboses are responsible for the leg ulcers (chronic venous insufficiency). Some diseases such as pAOD (peripheral artery occlusive disease) occur less frequently due to constriction of the leg arteries. Other factors generally determine the chronicity of the event, particularly in elderly patients with multiple conditions. A detailed medical history is therefore vital for establishing the subsequent clinical course.
It is estimated that 15 to 30 out of every 100,000 people develop Ulcus cruris annually in Germany and the trend is increasing. Elderly patients with their various underlying diseases are mostly affected. The incidence of foot or leg ulcers increases massively from the age of 80.