Vascular ulcers are a common occurrence in people over the age of 65. They are something we encounter often at Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home in Queens, NY. These open sores develop on the inside of the lower leg, between the knee and ankle.
In younger people, vascular ulcers will heal easily and quickly. However, in adults and seniors the recovery process is slower. It’s essential to receive proper treatment to avoid other, more serious problems developing.
Veins in the lower leg have one-way valves making that sure blood travels up the leg towards the heart and can’t flow back down again. If these valves become weak, blood builds up in the vein causing an increase in pressure. This abnormally high pressure damages the skin which leads to vascular ulcers.
Vascular ulcers are a serious condition
While most vascular ulcers heal within three to four months, others can take years to go away. In around 15 percent of cases, they may never fully heal. Without medical treatment these open sores can easily become infected. In some cases, large areas of skin may have to be removed and skin grafts are required. In extreme cases, they can lead to part or even the whole leg being lost.
Treating vascular ulcers
Treatment needs to be carried out by a trained healthcare professional. Vascular ulcers will heal only with proper wound management procedures. At Fairview, our experienced nurses use special techniques to clean and dress the sores.
They also help control high blood pressure by improving blood flow to the legs. This may include the use of stockings, elevating the legs, or exercising and stimulating the limbs. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to deal with any infection.
Vascular ulcers and complications
Bacterial infections are the biggest complications that can occur with vascular ulcers. Infections can lead to cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and septicaemia. With the right treatment, these can be avoided. However, it’s also essential to address the underlying cause of the ulcer.
Smoking, obesity, diabetes, and varicose veins can all increase the risk of vascular ulcers developing. Making some lifestyle changes will reduce this risk and speed up the healing process. Quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, losing weight, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly will all help. These lifestyle changes are also great for overall health.
Why good care matters
It’s essential to receive the best wound management possible to avoid complications. Fairview’s dedicated wound-care team provides effective treatment for vascular ulcers to prevent infection and complications from arising.
They are painful which can cause patients to restrict their movements. A lack of mobility can lead to isolation, anxiety, and depression. At Fairview, our little community is made up of staff and residents. Social interaction and participating in fun activities will ensure this doesn’t happen.
If you are suffering from vascular ulcers, Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home can help. With our dedicated team of nursing staff providing the treatment you need, you will be up on your feet again as soon as possible.