Dr. Bret Boyle's Articles

Leg Swelling (Why Do My Legs Swell?)

 

By Linda Cox, NP

 

Reasons for Leg Swelling

 

Leg swelling is a sign of fluid buildup or inflammation of the tissues or joints of the leg. A medical term for this swelling is edema. Swelling in the legs can be caused by many different things:

  • Gravity: Especially from sitting or standing in one place for too long (like on long airplane flights).

  • Injury: Leg, ankle or foot trauma such as a broken bone, muscle, ligament; cartilage injury; or a repetitive stress injury.

  • Inflammatory, infectious and autoimmune conditions: Including bursitis, gout, infection, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, sunburn, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

What is Wound Care?

 

By Bryant Strain

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

Dr. Bret Boyle was once asked, “You do Wound Care… does that mean you just put Band-Aids on people for a living?” My name is Bryant Strain and in managing the clinic and business office of a Wound Care physician, I have had to address many misconceptions that are out there about the specialty of Wound Care. Another common misconception being, “Wound Care… so you probably treat a lot gunshot wounds and knife stabbings, right?”

Opening a Wound Care Clinic...How Hard Can It Be?

 

By Matthew Boyle

It was Spring-time, 2009, when I received that unexpected call from the doctor. At the age of 21, I was studying Biology and Music full-time at Santa Barbara City College in California. I had a good job working part-time at a beachside hotel as a concierge and valet. The doctor who called me that day was my father, Dr. Bret Boyle and he said, “Matthew, I left my job here in Utah and I need your help to open our own clinic.” My first thought was “Utah? I don’t want to move to Utah!”

Wound Care is Caring For People

 

By Dr. Bret Boyle

As a physician specializing in problem solving the non-healing wound, I continue to be humbled and amazed at how much these wounds impact the individual and those around them. When I hear their stories, as I frequently do, I feel compelled to share them (anonymously) with others who may find some solace in knowing they are not alone, but more so, that they can know there is help available for them or a loved one. The following is an excerpt from one patient’s recorded testimonial as she graciously agreed to share her story.

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

 

By Dr. Bret Boyle


Although most skin wounds heal normally, there are millions in the U.S. with problem wounds that do not. Most occur on legs or feet and can fail to improve or worsen due to problems such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (reduced circulation), infection, peripheral neuropathy (reduced sensation) and chronic edema (swelling).

 

Leg ulcers associated with chronic edema affect over 600,000 in the U.S. and account for over 80% of all problem leg ulcers. Edema can result from a number of problems including congestive heart failure, varicose veins, previous episodes of infection (cellulitis), surgeries, or prior deep blood clots (DVT).

Even A Superhero Is Susceptible
(Pressure Ulcers, Bedsores, Decubitus Ulcers)

 

By Dr. Bret Boyle

Superman was not taken down by Kryptonite – it was a bedsore. Actor, Christopher Reeve was well known for his portrayal of “The Man of Steel.” He was paralyzed in 1995 and died in 2004, at age 52, from complications of an infected bedsore. These potentially devastating soft tissue “wounds” are caused by pressure and/or friction and since they do not always occur from a mattress, the better term is “pressure ulcer” rather than bedsore or decubitus ulcer. They occur in individuals who are either temporarily or permanently confined to a wheelchair and/or bed as a result of surgery, illness or paralysis. Over 60,000 Americans die every year from complications of a pressure ulcer.

Venous Leg Ulcers - A Little Known,

Big Problem

 

By Dr. Bret Boyle
 

Skin ulcers on the lower legs and ankles associated with venous disease are the most common type of problem wound affecting the lower extremity. Recent reports estimate that these challenging ulcers plague approximately 1% of the population, or roughly three million Americans.


A multitude of causative or contributing factors can result in these troublesome sores more commonly referred to as venous stasis ulcers. For example, congestive heart failure and chronic renal failure contribute to excessive fluid accumulation in the circulatory system. The effects of gravity on this fluid often results in near constant swelling or edema in the legs. The persistent blood pressure elevation and engorgement of the leg veins can result in permanent damage to the system of one-way valves that help facilitate normal movement of blood from the feet to the heart.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers- “Good thing I can’t feel it!”

 

By Dr. Bret Boyle

Non-healing diabetic foot ulcers are the top cause of surgical amputations, with 80,000 Americans loosing a leg each year. About 50% develop an ulcer on the remaining foot within 18 months, and nearly 60% will have the remaining leg amputated within three to five years. Despite significant treatment advances over the past 30 years, these alarming statistics have changed little.

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