When an individual is experiencing the effects of a leg, ankle, or foot wound or nonhealing ulcer, the symptoms can be painful and, at times, debilitating. Wounds can result from a variety of conditions, including:
Ulcers often occur on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe, and since walking can cause an ulcer to grow, seeking professional care is important. Every ulcer may not be painful, but failing to seek treatment may lead to an infection in the foot, and in the worst case, the loss of a foot. 15% of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer, and most lower extremity amputations in the U.S. are due to a patient having the condition.
Ulcers may form as a response to poor circulation, trauma, and neuropathy, or lack of ability to feel pain. If a patient is not able to sense pain, the condition may worsen over time. Symptoms include warmth on the feet, redness, and the presence of odor.
When the veins in your body do not push the blood back up to the heart as they should, venous ulcers can develop. Pressure builds as blood backs up in the veins and, when left untreated, open sores can form on the leg, especially above the ankle. Symptoms of venous ulcers include:
Swelling and heaviness of the legs
Hard skin that begins to turn brown, purple, or dark red
Shiny, tight, warm skin
Odor and draining from the wound
If you have a history of varicose veins, smoking, obesity, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), you may be at a greater risk for venous ulcer. The best course of action is to connect with a specialist who understands foot and ankle care. He or she can offer a course of treatment and provide expert care for all types of leg and foot wounds.
When swelling occurs in the legs, especially after the removal of lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment, it is referred to as lymphedema. The condition can also be caused by certain medications, therapy, and injury to the lymph nodes. When a leg becomes infected, it may feel heavy or tight, skin may become hard, and you may notice a restricted range of motion in your ankle. Complications may follow, including infection, which are best treated by a wound care specialist. Treatment may range from a change in diet to the use of compression garments. Elevation may also help to drain fluid from the affected area.
If you or someone you care about has experienced any of the symptoms listed above, now is a good time to connect with a specialist who can provide the quality treatment you deserve. Medical experts in the field of leg and ankle wounds understand how best to deliver solutions for non-healing ulcers and wounds with the use of innovative diagnostic techniques.