The importance of identifying venous leg ulcers early and seeking professional treatment can’t be emphasized enough. Venous ulcers are extremely difficult to heal, with half of all cases still open and unhealed for nine months or longer. Ashley Huddleston, MD, Autumn Savage, DO, CWS-P, and the skilled team at Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas, offer holistic wound care, including advanced therapies that help your venous leg ulcer heal. At the earliest sign of an ulcer, call or book an appointment online.
Venous leg ulcers, also called venous stasis ulcers, are wounds that form on your lower leg. These ulcers develop when chronic venous insufficiency causes high pressure in a vein.
Chronic venous insufficiency develops when one-way valves in a vein weaken and stop working. The valves normally keep blood flowing up your leg as they carry deoxygenated blood back to your heart.
When the valves fail, blood flows backward or refluxes and accumulates in the vein. As blood builds up in the vein, varicose veins develop, and the pressure inside the vein in your lower leg increases.
Over time, the pressure forces fluids out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue, damaging the skin and causing an ulcer.
Venous leg ulcers tend to be shallow at first, but they gradually expand to become quite large as the tissue around the edge of the wound continues to deteriorate.
The wound is usually red and may leak or ooze some blood. However, the wound itself is typically painless until an infection develops.
Venous ulcers can form anywhere below your knee, but they most often appear around your ankle.
Patients with venous leg ulcers often have other symptoms like:
Leg pain that’s worse when you stand still and feels better when you elevate your leg is one of the earliest signs of chronic venous insufficiency.
Venous leg ulcers are dangerous because they don’t heal on their own or respond well to over-the-counter remedies. The ulcer gets progressively larger and, without treatment, is prone to an infection that can spread. This can lead to a serious skin or bone infection.
As soon as you notice an ulcer, it’s essential to call Wound Evolution so you can get specialized wound care, including:
If you don’t have an infection, compression therapy is an important part of your treatment. Pressure stockings prevent blood reflux, decrease fluid leakage, control edema, and slow disease progression.
The team at Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine offers holistic care. They evaluate your diet and make sure you get the extra nutrition needed to support wound healing.
They also teach you how to take care of your ulcer at home. They show you how to clean the wound, protect the healthy skin around the edges of the ulcer, and change any dressing.
If you develop a venous leg ulcer, call Wound Evolution - Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine or book an appointment online today.