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Understanding Venous Leg Ulcers

Speaker: Amy Tucker, MD

Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) account for 70-80% of lower extremity wounds, making them one of the most common etiologies clinicians encounter. Because of their frequency, it is important that health care professionals understand evidence-based treatment methods and the importance of early interventions in these complex wounds.

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Venous Leg Ulcers: The Importance of Comorbidity Management

Venous leg ulcers (VLUs) are common lower extremity wounds that are challenging to treat and that negatively affect patients’ quality of life. Numerous factors and comorbidities contribute to the development of venous insufficiency, which can lead to the formation of VLUs.

This white paper begins with an overview of venous function and the pathophysiology of chronic venous insufficiency and VLUs. The guide then discusses comorbidities and other conditions that can lead to VLU development and offers management recommendations.


Quick Facts – Venous Leg Ulcers

Approximately 2.5 million Americans have chronic venous insufficiency, and approximately 20% will develop venous leg ulcers (VLUs). Treating venous disease and VLUs often requires comprehensive and lifelong wound management.

Early detection, proper diagnosis, appropriate treatment strategies, and ongoing management are essential in promoting wound healing in VLUs. Successful VLU treatment engages patients as partners in the care plan, to enhance adherence. This fact sheet for wound care professionals contains practical information that can be applied clinically for optimal outcomes in patients with VLUs.


Understanding Venous Leg Ulcers and Infection

Of all the types of chronic wounds in lower extremities, venous leg ulcers are the most common, and they account for up to 70% of lower leg ulcers. Infection is a common complication in these wounds, however…

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Factors That Delay Wound Healing in Venous Leg Ulcers

Approximately 2.5 million Americans are diagnosed with chronic venous insufficiency, and approximately 20% will go on to develop venous leg ulcerations. Chronic venous leg ulcers (VLUs) account for 90%…

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Venous Leg Ulcers: Selecting a Treatment

Hard-to-heal venous leg ulcers (VLUs) comprise the most common type of leg ulcer and impose a major economic burden on the health care system. These wounds can be difficult to heal, and they often…

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Venous Leg Ulcer Management: Setting Up for Success

Venous leg ulcers can be slow to heal; the longer a wound is present, the less likely it is to heal. To move a venous leg ulcer through the phases of wound healing may require more than just basic wound care. Chronic…

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How Much Do You Know About Venous Leg Ulcers?

Take our 10-question quiz to find out.

Terms to Know: Venous Leg Ulcers

Arteriography: Also called angiography, this technique is the medical imaging of blood vessels to look for aneurysm and stenosis.

Hemosiderin staining: Hemosiderin staining results in a red, ruddy appearance on the lower leg and ankle. This appearance is caused when red blood cells are broken down and not removed adequately as a result of venous insufficiency or another medical condition.

Phlebectomy: A minimally invasive procedure (usually outpatient) to remove varicose veins located near the surface of the skin.

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