Guideline for the management of wounds in patients with lower-extremity neuropathic disease: an executive summary

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2013 Jan-Feb;40(1):34-45. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3182750161.


This article summarizes the WOCN Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Wounds in Patients with Lower Extremity Neuropathic Disease. It is intended for use by physicians, nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals who work with adults who have or are at risk for, lower-extremity neuropathic disease (LEND), and includes updated scientific literature available from January 2003 through February 2012. The full guideline contains definitions of lower extremity neuropathic disorders and disease, prevalence of the problem, relevance and significance of the disorders, as well as comprehensive information about etiology, the nervous system, pathogenesis, and the overall management goals for patients at risk for developing neuropathic foot ulcers. A detailed assessment section describes how to conduct a full clinical history and physical examination. The guideline also provides two approaches to interventions. The first focuses on prevention strategies to reduce the risk of developing LEND wounds or recurrence, including life-long foot offloading, routine dermal temperature surveillance, use of adjunctive therapies, medication management, and implementing lower extremity amputation prevention measures and patient self-care education. The second approach summarized LEND wound management strategies including wound cleansing, debridement, infection management, maintenance of intact peri-wound skin, nutrition considerations, pain and paresthesia management, edema management, offloading and management of gait and foot deformity, medication management, surgical options, adjunctive therapies, patient education, and health care provider follow-up. A comprehensive reference list, glossary of terms, and several appendices regarding an algorithm to determine wound etiology, pharmacology, Lower Extremity Amputation (LEAP) Program, diabetes foot screening and other information is available at the end of the guideline.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Debridement
  • Diabetic Foot / complications
  • Diabetic Foot / nursing
  • Diabetic Foot / prevention & control
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / complications
  • Leg Ulcer / nursing*
  • Leg Ulcer / therapy*
  • Lower Extremity
  • Pressure
  • Wounds and Injuries / nursing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*