Leg ulcers are different from typical wounds. They’re hard to heal, quick to spread, and put you at risk for serious infections. The experienced physicians at Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care in Hobart, LaPorte, Munster, and Valparaiso, Indiana, provide comprehensive care for leg ulcers, treating the underlying cause of the ulcer, while providing exceptional wound care that promotes healing. Don’t wait to get help for a leg ulcer. At the first sign of an open wound, call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online.
A leg ulcer is an open wound that develops on your lower leg, often around your ankle. These wounds are slow healing. Unlike other wounds or ulcers, they can take nine months or longer to heal. Sometimes they don’t heal, or they heal and recur again.
Without medical care, leg ulcers get progressively worse, breaking down the surrounding skin and enlarging. As a result, you can develop a dangerous skin or bone infection.
Leg ulcers develop when you have diseased arteries or veins due to two common problems:
Venous insufficiency occurs in your leg veins when valves stop working and blood flows backward and builds up in the vein. This condition often causes varicose veins. It also leads to high blood pressure in your lower leg veins.
High venous pressure forces fluids out of the veins in your lower leg. The fluids make the skin break down, and a leg ulcer develops.
PAD develops when cholesterol plaque builds up on the wall of an artery in your leg. As the plaque enlarges, it restricts blood flow. Lack of blood deprives skin and other tissues in your lower leg of the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Without treatment, the loss of blood causes a leg ulcer. If PAD severely or completely stops the flow of blood, the tissues die, a condition called critical limb ischemia.
Developing an open wound is the obvious symptom of a leg ulcer. However, you may develop symptoms of the underlying condition before the ulcer develops. You may experience:
Your leg pain may feel like a general aching or burning pain, a symptom that’s typical if you have venous insufficiency.
Or you may have leg pain that occurs when you walk and then feels better when you rest. This type of pain, called claudication, is a hallmark symptom of PAD.
After a comprehensive examination and performing diagnostic imaging if needed, the team at Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care take a two-pronged approach to treating leg ulcers: They treat the underlying condition while immediately starting intensive wound care to promote healing.
Your treatment may include one or more of the following:
At the first sign of leg pain, skin changes, or a leg ulcer, call Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care or book an appointment online.