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Br J Surg. 2002 Jan;89(1):40-4.

Randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of two bandaging regimens in the treatment of venous leg ulcers.

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Department of Academic Surgery, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK.



Many venous ulcers are healed by the application of external compression. It has been suggested that bandages capable of producing greater compression enhance healing. The aim of this study was to compare the time to total healing of venous ulcers in two groups of patients treated with different compression regimens in a randomized prospective trial.


A total of 112 patients was studied and all were treated with a zinc-impregnated paste bandage applied directly to the ulcer. Fifty-seven patients had the paste covered by Tensopress and 55 by Elastocrepe bandages. Both groups had a tubular bandage applied over the top to retain the bandage in place. All ulcers were stratified and randomized within one of three size groups. The 'venous' aetiology of the ulcer was confirmed on completion by calf pump function tests.


By 26 weeks, 58 per cent of the patients treated with Tensopress and 62 per cent of those treated with Elastocrepe bandages were healed. The median healing times were 9 and 9.5 weeks respectively. Similar numbers of patients were excluded or withdrawn from both groups. Large ulcers healed significantly more slowly than small ulcers.


There was no significant improvement in venous ulcer healing using higher compression elastic bandages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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