Limitation of ankle movement may contribute to calf muscle pump failure, which is thought to contribute to venous leg ulcer formation, which affects nearly 1 million Americans. We therefore wished to study ankle movement in patients with venous leg ulcers and its effect on healing. Using goniometry, we measured baseline ankle range of motion in venous leg ulcer patients from a Phase 2 dose-finding study of an allogeneic living cell bioformulation. Two hundred twenty-seven patients were enrolled in four active treatment groups and one standard-care control group, all receiving compression therapy. Goniometry data from a control group of 49 patients without venous disease, from a previous study, was used for comparison. We found patients with active venous leg ulcers had significantly reduced ankle range of motion compared with the control group (p=0.001). After 12 weeks of therapy, baseline ankle range of motion was not associated with healing, as there was no significant difference between healed and nonhealed groups, suggesting that ankle range of motion is not important in venous leg ulcer healing or, more likely, is overcome by compression. However, patients with venous ulcers located on the leg (as opposed to the ankle) had significantly higher ankle range of motion for plantar flexion and inversion (p=0.021 and p=0.034, respectively) and improved healing with both cell bioformulation and standard care (p=0.011), suggesting that wound location is an important variable for ankle range of motion as well as for healing outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas