Unfortunately, venous leg ulcers are not uncommon. This can range from open wounds to weeping broken skin. This results from long term high pressure in varicose veins. Normal veins carry the blood in an upward direction toward the heart. Varicose veins have broken vein valves, therefore the blood is pulled downward by gravity. This increases the pressure in those veins. That pressure then get transmitted to the skin which leads to discoloration and culminates in an ulcer. For the past six months i have been caring for a patient who developed a small sore on her calf after minor trauma. That sore then spread and much of her calf was denuded of skin and wept clear fluid. She endured several rounds of antibiotics due to infection. Below is her leg prior to any intervention.
This was miserable for her. She was doing costly dressing changes several times daily and just wasn’t seeing any benefit. We evaluated and found significant varicose vein disease contributing to her problem. We performed endovenous laser ablation of her great and small saphenous veins. Then, we performed several treatments of endovenous chemical ablation (ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy). She diligently wore her compression stockings and the wound began to heal. I just saw her today and she has made incredible progress as you can see.
I love seeing these wounds heal, but they must be treated with a multi-faceted approach.