Chronic leg ulcers (CLUs) pose serious public health concerns worldwide. They mainly affect the elderly population. Pinch grafting (PG) could be used to treat a variety of CLUs. However, in Cameroon, there is scarce data on the outcome of PG of CLUs in elderly patients in rural hospitals where most of these patients seek for medical attention and where clinicians rely on unconventional wound dressing methods to treat CLUs. Our objective was to describe the outcome of PG of CLUs in elderly patients in rural Cameroon.
This was a prospective study conducted in a rural hospital of North West Cameroon. From February 2015 to January 2016, comprehensive historical and clinical data were collected per elderly patient who presented with a chronic leg ulcer necessitating PG. PG was done using a simple procedure and each patient followed up for 8 months. Outcome was described in terms of ulcer healing and pain and donor site complications.
Our series included 13 patients: 8 males (61.54%; 95% CI: 31.58–86.14) and 5 females (38.46%; 95% CI: 13.86–68.42) aged from 69 to 88 years (mean: 77.54 ± 5.70 years). Three patients (23.08%; 95% CI: 5.04–53.81) had associated co-morbidities. All the ulcers were unilateral with durations ranging from 7 to 41 months (mean: 19.46 ± 11.03 months). The ulcers ranged in size from 9.0 to 38.1 cm2 (mean: 17.66 ± 8.35 cm 2). We registered one (7.69%; 95% CI: 0.19–36.03) graft rejection. Concerning the other ulcers, ten (83.33%; 95% CI: 51.59–97.91) had healed after 12 postoperative weeks while 2 (16.67%; 95% CI: 2.09%–48.41) had healed after 14 postoperative weeks and the mean healing time was 12.33 ± 0.78 weeks. Patients with healed ulcers had reduced ulcer site pain from the immediate postoperative period but there was no significant difference in the mean pain scores before and after graft (6.77 against 4.23, p = 0.13). These ulcers remained healed after 8 postoperative months. Each donor site had healed 2 weeks after PG. Donor site problems were minimal and included hypopigmentation.
The outcome of PG of CLUs in our series of older patients was satisfactory. This finding does not discount the role of conservative therapy, but we encourage clinicians in rural Cameroon to consider PG over long-term unconventional conservative therapy in the elderly.
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- A prospective analysis of pinch grafting of chronic leg ulcers in a series of elderly patients in rural Cameroon
Benjamin Momo Kadia
Christian Akem Dimala
Cyril Jabea Ekabe
Reine Suzanne Mengue Kadia
Alain Chichom Mefire
- BioMed Central
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