Arterial and Venous Wounds


The two most common types of leg and foot wounds are called arterial and venous. Arterial ulcers occur when there is problem with your arteries – vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the body's cells, tissues and organs. Arterial wounds are usually located on the feet and can be on your heels, toe tips or between toes where they rub against each other. They can also be in the nail bed if your toenail cuts into your skin.

Venous ulcers happen when your veins aren’t working properly. Veins carry blood from various parts of the body back to the heart. Venous wounds appear below your knee, usually on the inner part of your leg, just above the ankle.

What Causes Leg and Foot Ulcers?

A variety of things can cause these wounds that may be painful:

  • Poor circulation, often caused by a blockage in blood flow or other clotting disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Buildup of fluid that causes swelling in the legs or feet
  • Inflammatory diseases, including lupus, or other rheumatological conditions

If you feel pain, burning, itching or swelling in your legs or feet, see your doctor who might refer you to one of our vascular specialists. Mercy wound specialists will evaluate your entire health history, along with your foot or leg wounds. Our vascular experts will develop a treatment program to relieve your symptoms and speed recovery of your wounds.

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