The causes of leg ulcers can be put down to 3 main categories

  • Venous Causes - (caused by veins not working) - about 80% of leg ulcers
  • Arterial Causes - (caused by the arteries not working) - about 15% of leg ulcers
  • Other Causes - about 5% of leg ulcers

 

Venous causes of leg ulcers  affects most people and fortunately it is also easy to cure.

As the Western Vascular Centre is staffed by Specialist Vascular Surgeons, we  always check for arterial causes and other causes before treating any form ofLeg Ulcers. This is necessary as many leg ulcers occur in older people - and many may have more than one cause of their leg ulcers.

Therefore just because a venous cause is found for the leg ulcer, it doesn't mean to say that there isn't ALSO an arterial or other cause at the same time.

Arterial ulcers are a serious condition as the tissue does not have enough blood supply to allow the ucer to heal. To let the ulcer heal more blood must be delivered to the leg. This can be done with either an angiopalsty or bypass surgery which will increase the blood supply to the leg. Fortunately most arterial leg ulcers can be cured.. Therefore by accurately identifying the cause, we are able to cure many of the leg ulcers - sometimes using combined approaches (ie: treat the arterial cause first followed by the venous cause).

 

Ulcers in the "other causes" are rare but need to be treated depending on the specific cause.