Conditions We Treat

Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers

Arterial leg ulcers result from reduced blood flow to the legs, while venous leg ulcers are caused by impaired circulation in the veins. Both types of ulcers can lead to persistent wounds that require expert management. Our affiliated practices are equipped with the expertise and advanced treatments necessary to promote healing, alleviate discomfort, and enhance the quality of life for individuals struggling with arterial and venous leg ulcers.

The Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers at San Antonio, TX.

What are Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers?

Arterial and venous leg ulcers are two distinct types of chronic wounds that commonly occur on the lower extremities. Arterial leg ulcers stem from inadequate blood flow to the legs, often caused by conditions such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The reduced circulation leads to poor oxygen and nutrient supply to the tissues, resulting in slow-healing wounds. On the other hand, venous leg ulcers are caused by impaired venous return, leading to venous hypertension and subsequent tissue damage. These ulcers typically appear around the ankles and can be painful and difficult to heal.

What Causes Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers?

Arterial leg ulcers primarily develop due to reduced blood flow to the legs caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or atherosclerosis. PAD occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the legs become narrowed or blocked, leading to insufficient oxygen and nutrient delivery to the tissues. As a result, wounds form and struggle to heal. In contrast, venous leg ulcers result from venous insufficiency, which hampers the normal flow of blood from the legs back to the heart. This condition leads to increased pressure in the veins, causing fluid to leak into the surrounding tissues and ultimately forming ulcers. Both arterial and venous leg ulcers can be debilitating and require specialized care to manage the underlying causes and promote effective wound healing.

Symptoms of Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers

Arterial and venous leg ulcers present with distinct sets of symptoms. For arterial leg ulcers, patients may experience:

  • Pain: Persistent, severe pain in the legs, particularly during rest or physical activity.
  • Cool and Pale Skin: The affected area may feel cool to the touch and appear pale due to reduced blood flow.
  • Shiny and Thin Skin: The skin surrounding the ulcer may appear shiny, thin, and dry.
  • Lack of Hair Growth: Decreased or absent hair growth on the lower extremities is common.
  • Slow Healing: Arterial ulcers often have a slow-healing nature and may expand in size over time.

On the other hand, venous leg ulcers exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Swelling: The affected leg may swell, especially after prolonged standing or sitting.
  • Discolored Skin: The skin around the ulcer may appear reddish-brown or darkened.
  • Pain or Aching: Patients may experience aching or pain, which worsens with leg elevation.
  • Weeping or Oozing: Venous ulcers can produce a clear fluid or pus-like discharge.
  • Irregularly Shaped Borders: The borders of venous ulcers are typically irregular and less defined.
  • Advanced Wound Healing Modalities: Employing growth factors, cellular therapies, or skin substitutes to enhance healing in complex cases.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seeking prompt evaluation and care from our specialized wound care practices at Mobile Wounds is essential to properly diagnose and manage arterial and venous leg ulcers.

Treatment Options for Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers

Effective management of arterial and venous leg ulcers involves a comprehensive and individualized approach to address the underlying causes and promote healing. The following are some of the key treatment options for arterial and venous leg ulcers:

Arterial Leg Ulcers:

  • Improving Blood Flow: Treatments aim to address peripheral arterial disease (PAD) through medication, angioplasty, or vascular surgery to improve blood flow to the legs.
  • Wound Debridement: Removing dead or infected tissue from the ulcer to promote healing.
  • Offloading: Reducing pressure on the affected leg through the use of specialized footwear or casts to facilitate wound closure.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Administering oxygen in a pressurized chamber to promote wound healing.
  • Pain Management: Utilizing various methods to address the severe pain associated with arterial leg ulcers.

Venous Leg Ulcers:

  • Compression Therapy: Using specialized bandages or stockings to reduce swelling and improve venous return.
  • Wound Dressings: Applying appropriate dressings to create a moist wound-healing environment and protect the ulcer.
  • Elevation: Elevating the leg when sitting or lying down to reduce swelling.
  • Leg Exercises: Engaging in regular leg exercises to improve blood circulation.
  • Venous Ablation: Using minimally invasive techniques to treat underlying venous insufficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions about Arterial & Venous Leg Ulcers

1. Can arterial and venous leg ulcers heal on their own?

Arterial and venous leg ulcers typically do not heal on their own without proper treatment. These ulcers are often chronic and require specialized care to address the underlying causes and promote effective healing. Without appropriate management, arterial leg ulcers may worsen, leading to severe pain and potential complications, while venous leg ulcers can persist and become larger over time. Seeking professional wound care and adhering to a personalized treatment plan is crucial to optimize healing and alleviate symptoms.

2. Are compression stockings effective for treating venous leg ulcers?

Yes, compression stockings are an essential part of the treatment for venous leg ulcers. Compression therapy helps reduce swelling, improve venous return, and support wound healing. By applying pressure to the legs, compression stockings prevent blood from pooling and aid in pushing it back towards the heart. This helps alleviate symptoms associated with venous leg ulcers and promotes more efficient wound healing. However, it is essential to consult a wound care specialist to determine the appropriate compression level and ensure proper fit to achieve optimal results.

3. Can lifestyle changes help prevent arterial and venous leg ulcers?

Yes, certain lifestyle changes can contribute to the prevention of arterial and venous leg ulcers. For arterial leg ulcers, lifestyle modifications may focus on managing peripheral arterial disease (PAD) risk factors, such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. For venous leg ulcers, elevating the legs when sitting or lying down, engaging in leg exercises, and wearing compression stockings can help reduce the risk of developing venous insufficiency and subsequent ulcers. If you have diabetes or other underlying conditions that may increase the risk of leg ulcers, adhering to a proper management plan as advised by your healthcare provider is essential to minimize complications.

Expert Mobile Wound Care That Comes to You

Let your wound care provider come treat you without having to leave the comfort of your home. Look through our provider list and contact the one closest to you to get your wound care from certified professionals.

Common Conditions We Treat