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Arterial Leg Ulcers

Arterial ulcers, also known as Ischemic ulcers or Ischemic wounds, develop as the result of damage to the arteries due to lack of blood flow to tissue. They are commonly caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD). Unlike other ulcers, these leg wounds can take months to heal, if they heal at all.
Arterial leg ulcer illustration

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What are the symptoms of arterial ulcers?

Arterial ulcers often form on the outer side of the ankle, feet, heels, or toes. They can form in other areas, too. These ulcers are painful and have a “punched out” appearance.

Other symptoms or characteristics of arterial ulcers include:

  • red, yellow, or black sores
  • deep wound
  • tight, hairless skin
  • leg pain at night
  • no bleeding
  • affected area is cool or cold to touch from minimal blood circulation
  • leg reddens when dangled and turns pale when elevated

What is the primary cause of arterial ulcers?

Poor blood circulation is the primary cause of arterial ulcers. When there is reduced blood flow, skin and tissues in the affected areas are deprived of oxygen and necessary nutrients. These affected areas become inflamed and form an open wound. If not treated the ulcer can cause skin and tissue to die (necrosis). Though ulcers can form anywhere on the body, arterial ulcers are more commonly found on the legs and feet.

Other potential causes of arterial ulcers include:

  • age
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • kidney failure
  • trauma
  • atherosclerosis, or thickening of the arteries
  • vasculitis

Schedule a personalized assessment and find out your treatment options.

Dr. Moinakhtar Lala and Dr. Mehran J. Khorsandi of CACVI

Dr. Moinakhtar Lala and Dr. Mehran J. Khorsandi

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The Center for Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Interventions (CACVI) is led by Dr. Khorsandi and Dr. Lala, who have over thirty years of practice with over 15,000 successful vascular and cardiac procedures performed. Our physicians are determined to provide each patient with unparalleled expertise and compassionate care as they work diligently to improve your health.
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