Posted by & filed under Circulatory Health.

  1. Venous stasis ulcers affect more than half a million people in the United States annually, making it the most common type of leg ulcer.
  2. Venous stasis ulcers result from a poorly functioning venous system. The veins of the legs are not efficiently or effectively pumping blood back to the heart and this creates elevated pressures under the skin.
  3. Venous stasis ulcers are commonly found on the inner part of the lower leg, just above the ankle. They can occur on either or both legs, and one leg may have multiple ulcers.
  4. Symptoms of venous stasis ulcers include edema of the foot, ankle and lower leg; leg fatigue and heaviness; and burning or itching. Ulcers may be accompanied by a rash, redness or brown discoloration. The ulcer usually presents itself as an open sore in an area that already typically exhibits a red to brown discoloration that has probably been present for some time. Prior to actual ulceration, the skin may have changed texture and become flaky and itchy.
  5. Venous stasis ulcers are commonly seen in people with a history of leg and feet swelling. The likelihood of developing a venous stasis ulcer increases as a person ages.
  6. Underlying venous system deficiency may be related to varicose veins during pregnancy, obesity or hereditary factors. In addition, prior blood clots, a history of phlebitis or lower leg trauma can also increase the likelihood of developing ulcers. Incidental trauma also is a common cause of venous ulceration.
  7. Inflammatory diseases such as vasculitis, lupus, scleroderma or other rheumatologic diseases can aggravate venous insufficiency and alter skin texture, increasing the potential to develop venous stasis ulcers.
  8. Inactivity, such as sitting or lying in one position for extended periods, may also lead to the formation of a venous ulcer. In fact, many people will develop venous stasis ulcers from simply sitting a majority of the day with their feet in a dependent position, creating poor arterial circulation that aggravates venous stasis.
  9. Once the “gold standard” treatment, the use of compression stockings or wraps on the affected leg may minimize swelling and allow the ulcer to heal. However, patients with venous stasis ulcers AND arterial insufficiency must avoid excessive compression therapy as it can restrict blood flow to the foot. Antibiotics are not routinely administered for venous stasis ulcers unless the wound is grossly infected — an experienced physician must examine the ulcer and determine the extent of inflammation or infection.
  10. Today, the use of lasers to treat saphenous vein insufficiency has emerged as an effective treatment in patients who also have venous stasis ulcers. Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) treatments to the insufficient saphenous veins can relieve underlying pressure in the soft tissues of the lower leg. Once that pressure is reduced and the ulcer has time to heal, the chances of recurrence are greatly reduced and the long term success of ulcer management is improved.

Circulatory Centers has been successfully treating patients with venous insufficiency for more than 20 years. If you experience symptoms of venous insufficiency, have or have had venous stasis ulcers, or have varicose veins, call Circulatory Centers for an initial consultation.