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Dealing with common lower limb problems in primary care

This two-part series will discuss common lower limb problems, including venous leg ulceration, oedema (including oedema associated with lymphovenous disease), lymphoedema and lipoedema. This article will focus on the causes of these conditions and discusses the signs and symptoms to enable community nurses to diagnose and differentiate between the types of lower limb problems. Part two of the series will focus on management strategies for simple, uncomplicated venous leg ulceration and oedema, which can be successfully managed with skin care and compression therapy, without specialist skills. It will also briefly outline the management of lymphorrhoea or ‘leaking legs’, which can be challenging for nurses. The aim of this series is to enable community nurses to choose the most effective treatment in terms of efficacy and patient acceptability.