Non-healing Leg Sores Should Not be Ignored
Our legs take a beating over our lifetimes. Bumps, bruises, and injuries are bound to happen and while most of these sores go away with rest and care, some leg wounds linger for weeks or months. These non-healing wounds or ulcerations may become inflamed, discolored and painful. Over 80 percent of non-healing leg wounds occur due to faulty venous circulation. Such wounds are called venous stasis ulcerations and can worsen over time if medical care is not sought. The appearance of varicose veins on the legs is a precursor to development of these difficult wounds. Another 15 percent of leg wounds occur due to peripheral arterial disease, which is a diminished delivery of blood to the extremity. Complications related to arterial circulation could result in the loss of a limb.
So what’s the first thing you should do if you develop a spontaneous wound that is worsening instead of healing? If you have a primary care physician whom you routinely see, request an appointment with them. Your PCP is familiar with your medical history and can quickly assess the urgency. If measures to heal the wound are unsuccessful, your doctor will schedule an appointment with a vascular surgeon or wound care center. A non healing ulceration needs expert attention.
Venous stasis ulcerations are non-emergent, chronic wounds and may require a combination of medical treatments and wound care. Few wounds are arterial in nature. Most people have significant pain prior to wound development if there is an arterial issue.
How can you prevent leg ulcerations? Genetics is a large contributor to venous disease, so sometimes your card may take you down a path of developing varicose veins. You can still do your part to keep your legs healthy by exercising, stop smoking, limit sugar & carbohydrate intake and maintain a healthy weight. Ambulating 10-20 minutes per day is a great start to improving your leg circulation. Compression socks and leg elevation is beneficial for leg edema and venous insufficiency as well.
We know it can be nerve-wracking to read about these conditions, and if you are ever concerned about your own potential to experience them, please reach out to us. We’ve guided thousands of patients through treatment and education—providing not just safety, but peace of mind. If you would like to speak with one of our professionals directly, don’t hesitate to call us at 866-695-8346. We’ll get an appointment scheduled ASAP!