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Venous ulcers are superficial wounds occurring on the lower extremities due to malfunctioning valves in the veins causing poor blood return back up towards the heart. Due to decreased blood circulation fluid begins to back up in the veins and leak out into the tissue causing swelling. The pressure from the swelling can cause ulcer formation.
Risk factors include blood clots, obesity, smoking and standing for prolonged periods of time. Early signs of venous ulcers are thick, dry, scaly, itchy skin and dark red/purple discoloration in the area where blood is leaking out. Diagnosing venous ulcers are done by a physician assessment often utilizing venous doppler to check the movement of fluid through your lower extremities.
Once diagnosed with venous insufficiency lifelong compression devices should be worn to aid in preventing venous ulcerations if contraindications do not exist. Applying compression to the lower extremities aids in preventing ulcerations by supporting venous return decreasing the amount of fluid backing up in your lower extremities. If you believe you may be at risk for venous insufficiency or have leg ulcerations contact our clinic for a lower extremity assessment and treatment.
The center works in conjunction with the outpatient rehab lymphedema team to treat not only patients with lymphedema associated wounds but the techniques used in treating lymphedema are also effective in reducing edema in venous stasis disease and associated ulcers.