Venous Ulcers

70% to 90% of wounds on the lower legs are venous ulcers. 600,000 people in the U.S. develop a venous ulcer every year.

We treat the following:

What causes venous ulcers?


Venous ulcers are open sores caused by poor circulation in the veins of the legs. These sores often don’t heal properly due to lack of blood flow caused by chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Treating venous ulcers usually involves a combination of healing the wound and treating the vein disease that is the cause of the ulcer.

When the valves inside your veins don’t work properly, blood is no longer able to return to your heart. Instead of moving freely, it pools inside the vein and raises the blood pressure in your legs. This leads to varicose veins, inflammation, and swelling. Sometimes a vein can even break open. Eventually the poor circulation in your legs begins to affect the skin, causing it to darken, grow thinner, and then break down, creating a venous ulcer on the ankle.

You are at risk of developing a venous ulcer if:

  • You have vein disease, including a history of deep vein thrombosis or phlebitis (inflammation of the blood vessels)
  • You have varicose veins
  • You’ve had trauma to your veins or your leg
  • You are overweight or obese
  • You have heart failure
  • You have a family history of vein disease
  • You are inactive
  • You are a smoker

How can I tell if I have a venous ulcer?

An ankle wound may be a venous ulcer if:

  • The wound is shallow and red, possibly covered by yellow tissue
  • Its borders are uneven
  • It is accompanied by leg pain
  • Skin around the wound is scaly and shiny, warm to the touch, and discolored
  • It has pus or a foul odor (if infected)

Treatment for venous ulcers

To treat venous ulcers, the wounds must be cared for, and you’ll need medications that improve blood flow. To prevent more ulcers from forming, your doctor may advise you to wear compression stockings, lose weight, and get more active, as well as have treatment for the vein disease that caused the ulcer.

We treat the following:



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