Wound Conditions

You’re Not Alone

People who have chronic or persistent wounds that do not heal may find that it is due to underling venous or arterial disease. Wounds that do not heal are chronic sores or ulcers on the toes, feet, or legs.  These sores can cause pain, odor, and oozing pus from their openings, which make it difficult to walk and function normally.

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Venous causes and symptoms

Over 80% of leg ulcers are caused by venous disease Reference Simon et al. “Management of venous leg ulcers.” BMJ. 2004 Jun 5; 328(7452): 1358–1362.).  These ulcers occur when the veins in your legs are not working efficiently to carry blood back to the heart, the valves are not functioning properly which prevents the blood from flowing correctly. This pooling of blood in the leg builds increase pressure on the vein walls.  This can lead to skin damage and non-healing wounds.
  • The skin may thicken and become hard
  • Changes in color, usually black or dark bluish color, around the wound area
  • Swelling and redness may develop
  • Fluid may discharge from the wound
  • A foul-smelling odor may appear

Arterial causes and symptoms

Peripheral vascular or arterial disease can also cause non-healing wounds.  As plaque builds up inside the artery, it narrows and restricts blood flow to the limbs.  This can lead to damaged blood vessels and result in non-healing wounds.
  • Legs that feel fatigued
  • Pain in the affected limb may be felt while sleeping or resting
  • Persistent and increasing pain around the wound area
  • Skin may be cool to touch and hairless
  • Gangrene, or black toe, may also occur

Risk Factors

  • Obesity or being overweight can put pressure on your legs and restrict healthy blood flow. Over time skin damage and leg sores may occur.
  • Certain medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes can increase the likelihood of developing non-healing wounds.
  • Smoking can damage the veins and their ability to transport blood.
  • History of varicose veins can predispose you to developing these types of sores.
  • Being older than 60 can increase the likelihood of developing arterial or venous disease.

It’s in the genes

In most cases, vein disease is genetic. So, if your parents or grandparents have or had varicose or spider veins, they are likely to pass them down to you.

Contact Us for a Consultation

United Vein & Vascular Centers is a designated IAC-accredited vascular testing and vein treatment center with board certified physicians and surgeons specializing in vein, vascular, and wound procedures. Your leg health and quality of life are important to us. Let us help you get back on your feet. A majority of testing and treatments for non-healing wounds can be performed outpatient without requiring hospitalization. Most insurance providers including Medicare cover wound treatments; feel free to ask us about your coverage. We’re available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about seeking wound treatment. Call us today to talk about taking charge of your health.

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