Frequently Asked Questions
What are arterial and ischemic ulcers?
Arterial ulcers, also known as ischemic ulcers, are wounds that are mostly located on the lateral surface of the ankle or the distal digits. They are commonly caused by Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).
What Increases my risk for arterial ulcers?
- Poor blood circulation
- Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)
- Chronic vascular insufficiency
- Renal failure
- High blood pressure
- Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries, due to the buildup of fatty materials)
- Increased age
What can I do to prevent arterial ulcers?
- Examine legs daily for changes in color or sores
- Stop smoking
- Manage blood pressure and cholesterol
- Avoid crossing legs while sitting
- Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods
- Protect legs and feet from injury and infection
- Exercise as instructed
How is an arterial ulcer treated?
- Debridement: the removal of damaged tissue or foreign objects from a wound
- Revascularization Evaluation: the process of restoring and reestablishing your blood circulation and perfusion
- Moisture Control: managing any drainage from your wound
- Bandages: a strip of material that is used to protect or bind a wound
- Edema Control: regulation of swelling by different treatments (i.e., compression or elevation)
When should I contact my health care provider?
- If you see red, warm, swollen legs
- If you develop a new wound
- If you feel pain in your leg
- If you have questions or concerns about your condition or care
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