Venous leg ulcers
Causes of a venous leg ulcer
Damaged valves that may be the result of trauma (this stops them preventing backflow) resulting in the pooling of venous blood in the lower leg. This results in venous congestion and vasodilation.
This causes the fluid to be pushed out of the blood vessels into the tissue as oedema.
Red blood cells leak into tissues causing staining of the skin. This is known as haemosiderin staining. This is an identified characteristic of venous disease (Morrison and Moffatt 2004).
This may lead to skin changes and eventual ulceration of the leg (Anderson 2006). Oedema is often a result of a combination of venous disease and lymphatic drainage issues, known as lymphovenous disease (Tiwari et al 2003). It has been reported that more than a third of people with leg ulcers have concurrent lymphoedema.