Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Treating Ulcers - Fairview Health Services
 
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Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Treating Ulcers

If leg swelling due to chronic venous insufficiency isn’t controlled, an ulcer (open wound) can form. Although ulcers vary in size and shape, they usually appear on the inside of the ankle.

Swollen ankle

Bulging ankle

Image of ulcer

Doctor and patient

Treating an Ulcer

  • Visit your doctor. Ulcers need frequent medical care. Special dressings may be applied. You may be given antibiotics to fight infection.

  • Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as aspirin or pentoxifylline, to help the ulcer heal.

  • Elevate your legs often to reduce swelling. The ulcer needs oxygen-rich blood to heal. This blood can’t reach the ulcer until swelling is reduced.

When to Call Your Doctor

Contact your doctor right away if:

  • You have an increase in pain.

  • You develop a fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher.

  • The ulcer oozes discolored fluid or smells bad.

  • Swelling increases suddenly or the dressing feels tight.

 

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