Leg ulceration is the most prevalent chronic wound that impacts both patient health and treatment costs. To put it in perspective, in the United States alone, approximately 2.5 billion people experience leg problems due to venous insufficiency, one of the most common culprits of leg ulcers. Not to mention chronic wounds such as this have a treatment cost of approximately one billion dollars per year!
Leg ulcers are not only costly and painful, but they can have a significant impact on the patient's quality of life. It is not uncommon for people with leg ulcers to not perform certain activities, even walking or standing for any length of time. It is certainly a condition that patients want to be treated right away.
To combat this chronic wound, patients must receive a timely diagnosis and treatment plan. Here we will discuss more regarding leg ulcers, their causes, and potential treatment options. Understanding this chronic condition will help patients identify warning signs and know when they should talk to their doctor.
Symptoms of Leg Ulcers
Understanding leg ulcer symptoms can go a long way toward a quick diagnosis. While leg ulcers require official medical diagnosis, there are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for. Common symptoms associated with leg ulcers include:
What Causes Leg Ulcers?
There are three common causes of leg ulcers, including:
Venous ulcers account for approximately 80% of all leg ulcers and are the result of venous hypertension. However, the only way to determine the cause of a leg ulcer is to have a full evaluation performed by a qualified medical doctor.
Are Leg Ulcers a Result of Arterial or Venous Insufficiency?
It's critical to determine the cause of a leg ulcer. How do medical providers determine if the leg ulcer is due to arterial or venous insufficiency?
Arterial ulcers are caused by decreased blood flow due to either blockage of large or microscopic arteries—the decreased arterial perfusion results in decreased oxygen and nutrient delivery to the legs. The tissue affected becomes ischemia (inadequate blood supply) and ultimately dies and results in painful ulcers. Therefore, it's important to quickly address the ischemic tissue changes to prevent a type of tissue death known as gangrene of the extremity. One telltale sign that it may be arterial insufficiency is that individuals suffering from this usually feel better when their legs are situated below the heart.
Venous ulcers are caused by leakage of the valves in the veins. Veins carry blood back to the heart, and some valves prevent the blood from leaking back down the veins. As some people age, the valves leak, causing the blood to run downhill and the veins to swell and leak. The leaking of blood through the veins causes the legs to swell and will also cause a dark discoloration of the lower leg in the gaiter area. As the swelling stretches the skin, it will cause ischemic changes to the skin and create ulcers. Legs with venous insufficiency usually feel better when they are elevated.
Keep in mind; legs can have both venous and arterial insufficiency. Therefore, it may be difficult to determine if someone has venous, arterial, or both venous and arterial insufficiency. Understanding the root cause of the leg ulcer can go a long way in ensuring proper treatment is provided.
What are Treatment Options for Leg Ulcers?
If you suspect that you may be suffering from leg ulcers, it's important to speak with your doctor immediately. The first step to treatment is a proper diagnosis, starting with a full evaluation by your medical doctor.
During your evaluation, your doctor will first establish if there is sufficient circulation for wound healing. Once that determination is made, then your doctor may make the following recommendations.
Swelling from leg ulcers can be a source of pain and discomfort. Getting this symptom under control is likely at the forefront of the treatment plan. Three core ways to reduce swelling is via exercise, compression socks, and elevation.
Exercise of the calf muscle will stimulate circulation and pump the swelling out of the leg. At the same time, compression socks or wraps combined with elevation will also decrease swelling and improve circulation of the extremity. Compression stockings can increase circulation to the legs by up to 40%.
Proper Wound Care
Wound care is critical when it comes to leg ulcer treatment. Maintain a moist wound environment. Drainage of excessive fluid from chronic wounds will inhibit healing; it will allow the wound to become too dry.
Ideal wound dressings should absorb secretions from the wound while maintaining a moist environment. The dressing should help to downregulate inflammatory mediators and biofilm while stimulating healing.
Vive Wear Graduated Compression Stockings
As mentioned, compression stockings are a viable option when it comes to leg ulcer treatment. In conjunction with your doctor's treatment of venous leg ulcers, Vive Wear graduated compression stockings are also a helpful treatment solution.
Several helpful features set Vive Wear graduated compression stockings apart from the rest. The Alpaca and Merino Wool offer a comfortable fit that will help wick away excessive fluid while also allowing a moist wound environment for healing. The nanosilver and nanocopper can generate a microcurrent to facilitate the body's natural mechanism to down-regulate inflammatory mediators, decrease bacterial load, and stimulate healing. This combinational solution makes this graduated compression stocking an excellent option for treating leg ulcers' discomfort and pain.
Contact Us Today
No matter the cause of leg ulcers, one thing is for certain, they are painful, disruptive, and can wreak havoc on a person's ability to perform daily activities. If you or someone you know suffers from painful leg ulcers, know that there are solutions that work. Contact us today to learn more about Vive Wear graduated compression stockings and how they may be the right solution to promote healthy healing.
Choose a sock size that will safely fit the largest foot, ankle and calf measurement.
|7.5 - 8.5
|3.0 - 5.0
|6.0 - 8.0
Vive Wear® below knee
Prosthetic Shrinker Size Chart
Compression 20-30 mmHg / Length 15-15 3/4” 38-40 cm
|IV / XL
|V / XXL
|VI / 3XL