Wound Treatment

Venous statis ulcer

Venous statis ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when the leg veins don't return blood back toward the heart the way they should. Venous statis ulcers are caused by poor blood circulation from the legs, such as from venous insufficiency. Your veins have one-way valves that keep blood flowing toward the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves are damaged, and blood backs up and pools in the vein. The blood may leak out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue. This can lead to a breakdown of the tissue and an ulcer. Veins that become blocked also may cause blood to pool, leading to these ulcers.

Some things can increase your risk of venous skin ulcers. These include:

  • Deep vein thrombosis, in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms in the deep veins of the legs

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Lack of physical activity

  • Work that requires many hours of standing

The first sign of a venous statis ulcer is skin that turns dark red or purple over the area where the blood is leaking out of the vein. The skin also may become thick, dry, and itchy. Without treatment, an ulcer may form. The ulcer may be painful. You also may have swollen and achy legs. If the wound becomes infected, the infection may cause an odor, and pus may drain from the wound. The area around the wound also may be more tender and red.

Our Podiatrist will diagnose venous statis ulcers by asking questions about your health and looking at your legs. They may also use duplex Doppler ultrasound. This test shows how well blood is moving through the lower leg.

To help your ulcer heal, Podiatrist may also remove dead tissue from the wound (debridement). After your ulcer has healed, continue to wear compression stockings. Take them off only when you bathe and sleep. Compression therapy helps your blood circulate and helps prevent other ulcers from forming.

If your ulcer doesn't heal within a few months, your doctor may advise other treatment, such as:

  • Medicine to speed healing or get rid of an infection (antibiotics)

  • Skin grafting, which may be needed for deep or hard-to-heal ulcers

  • Vein surgery, which may keep ulcers from coming back