Chronic venous insufficiency is a very common disorder. Due to the alteration in vascular function, up to 20% of people with this disorder will at one time or another develop an ulceration of the leg that requires extensive medical therapy. The disorder results in part from inadequate or impaired venous drainage.
Causes of Leg Ulcer
Chronic venous insufficiency occurs because the veins become incompetent. There may be reversal of flow in the veins of the leg, particularly during ambulation. The cause of ulceration is complex. Recent information suggests that white cells present in the leg during venous hypertension become activated. These cells can then produce damage of the walls of the blood vessels. The capillaries, or smallest vessels of the leg, are also abnormal. Together, these abnormalities can lead to the development of severe ulcers.
Signs and Symptoms of Leg Ulcer
Swelling and skin color changes are common, particularly in the legs. They occur commonly over the inner leg, just above the ankle. There may be associated varicose veins. The skin may break down in these areas leading to the development of non-healing ulcers.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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