Understanding Venous Leg Ulcers
Advanced treatment that resolves symptoms and restores vein health.
Leg ulcers are painful open wounds that affect the lower legs and ankles of many older adults each year.
Whether you’re living with diabetes, have an underlying vein condition that has led to ulcers, or are experiencing them for the first time, our experienced vein specialists at Texas Endovascular are here to help.
We understand the pain and discomfort of a chronic ulcer, especially if it becomes infected.
Don’t delay diagnosis and treatment. Your vein health depends on prompt and comprehensive care today.
Let’s discuss leg ulcers in more detail, including causes, risk factors, and treatment options.
What Are Leg Ulcers?
A leg ulcer, or venous ulcer, is caused by poor leg circulation due to a vein-related condition or disease.
While most wounds heal over time without the need for medical attention, leg ulcers require prompt treatment and professional care to ensure proper healing.
Types of Leg Ulcers
There are three types of ulcers to consider if you believe you might be suffering from a vein and vascular disease:
- Venous ulcer: Moist, weepy, or wet lesions on the inside or outside ankle, which can cause pain for most patients.
- Arterial ulcer: Dry, “punched out,” and painful lesions that usually appear on the toes or feet.
- Diabetic (neurotrophic) ulcer: Located on the foot’s pressure points, like the ball or the heel, these ulcers are painful and common for those with type 2 diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms of Leg Ulcers
The appearance of leg ulcers varies from person to person, but the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Shallow sore with a red base, sometimes covered by a thin yellow tissue
- An open wound with an uneven border
- Shiny, tight, warm or hot, and discolored skin surrounding the wound
- Leg pain
- If the sore becomes infected, it may have a foul odor and pus drainage
Leg Ulcers Risk Factors
Anyone at any age can develop leg ulcers, but risk factors include:
- Varicose veins
- A history of blood clots in the legs
- Blockage of the lymph vessels
- Older age
- Being female
- A family history of venous insufficiency
- Sitting or standing for a long periods
- A history of leg injury or trauma
The Tie Between Leg Ulcers and Insufficient Vein Function
Chronic vein problems can lead to non-healing ulcers or open sores in the lower legs.
These venous ulcers usually develop around your ankle and can vary from very small to several inches in diameter. Pain ranges from mild to severe, and infections are common.
Chronic vein disease causes a progressive inflammatory reaction that damages the capillaries and lymphatic ducts. Damage to these vital structures leads to swelling caused by fluid leaking into your lower leg tissues.
When hemoglobin from your red blood cells gets deposited in the skin and tissues of the lower leg, it can cause damage to your tissue leading to leg ulcers.
At the same time, damage to capillaries caused by chronic vein disease leads to low oxygen levels in these soft tissue areas.
In turn, poor wound healing and chronic venous stasis ulceration occur.
Venous ulcers may also be caused by other problems with your leg veins, including
- Varicose veins
- Chronic venous insufficiency
Leg Ulcer Treatment Options
In the past, we relied on compression therapy and wound care to treat venous ulcers. While effective, compression therapy alone was associated with high venous ulcer recurrence rates.
The standard of care now relies on closing the abnormal veins causing venous insufficiency and compression therapy for leg ulcer treatment.
In addition to improving the healing rate, state-of-the-art vein treatment drastically lowers venous ulcer recurrence rates. The ulcers heal faster and are less likely to return.
An ulcer is a very severe condition requiring treatment of both the open wound and the underlying vein disease.
If left untreated, the vein condition will progress, causing the ulcer to get larger and possibly become infected.
It is crucial to seek medical treatment immediately for ulcers or pre-ulcerous conditions.
Effective Leg Ulcer Treatment in Texas
You don’t have to live with painful leg ulcers forever.
We are here to help eliminate leg ulcers and their underlying vein conditions through advanced treatment that won’t require extensive surgery or a hospital stay.
It is important to note that intervening early helps prevent the escalation of pain, progression of symptoms, and worsening in appearance.
Texas Endovascular provides the most advanced and minimally invasive vein treatments for the Greater Houston and Dallas area. Our vein specialists are experienced in caring for leg ulcers and other complex vein diseases and conditions.