A venous stasis ulceration is often a shallow, irregular, jagged-shaped wound of varying size that occurs on the inside of the ankles or lower legs. It is important that medical care be sought so that this may be differentiated from other types of ulcerations that occur, such as diabetic ulcerations and ischemic ulcerations.
Venous insufficiency and venous stasis ulcerations occur when the valves in the veins returning blood back to the heart do not work properly, resulting in blood pooling and leg swelling. This may result in multiple, reddened, pigmented spots that arise when red blood cells carrying oxygen leave behind their iron pigment during episodes of swelling.
If left untreated the chronic swelling can cause serious complications such as: blood clots, open wounds and an increased workload on the heart.
Risk factors for a venous stasis ulceration:
- Prior history of Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot in a leg vein
- Lack of Exercise
Treatment for a venous stasis ulceration may encompass either a conservative or surgical approach depending on clinical findings and diagnostic studies. A podiatrist or vascular surgeon may perform an ultrasound to determine if the valves that return flow to the heart are working properly.
Conservative treatments prior to surgery may consist of layered compression wraps if there is an open wound to bring about healing. Surgical treatment of non-working valves can be treated with laser to prevent blood pooling and backflow.
Regardless of which pathway is chosen to treat these leg wounds, preventing recurrence by using prescribed supportive hose when indicated as determined by the treating physician(s) is very important and part of the treatment plan.