The analgesic effect of electrostimulation (WoundEL®) in the treatment of leg ulcers

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Abstract

This study aims to demonstrate the analgesic efficacy of electrostimulation (ES), a recognised treatment for leg ulcers. Patients treated by ES for leg ulcers between 2011 and 2013 were included in the study. The pain score obtained with the numerical rating scale (NRS) was reported before the start of the ES (D0), after 3 days (D3) and 1 week following treatment initialisation. The analgesic treatments (AT) were reported at each assessment. Seventy-three patients were included (mean age 75·19 years): 31 venous leg ulcers, 21 mixed venous leg ulcers, 2 arterial ulcers, 17 hypertensive ischaemic ulcers, 1 Hydrea®-induced ulcer and an amputation stump ulcer. The NRS at D0 was on average 5·3 (median = 6) while it was 2·2 at D7 (median = 2), that is P < 0·001. The results were also significant between D0 and D3 (P < 0·001). A decrease in the number of AT used was observed between D0 (2·0 AT per patient on average) and D7 (1·7 AT on average) (P < 0·001). We also observed a decrease in the consumption of grade 3 analgesics on D0 and D7 (P = 0·03). This study demonstrates the rapid analgesic efficacy of ES in leg ulcers, with a clear impact on the NRS score and especially on the decrease in analgesic consumption.

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