How are wounds diagnosed?
There are three main types of wounds on the lower extremities: venous stasis ulcers, neurotrophic ulcers, and arterial ulcers. A thorough examination of the wound will be completed and other diagnostic testing may be done to determine any underlying problems that need to be corrected.
- Venous Stasis Ulcers: These are usually found below the knee on the inner part of the leg just above the ankle. They usually have irregular borders, are red in color, are often covered with yellowish tissue, and drainage may be present. The skin around this type of ulcer is discolored and swollen with a shiny, tight appearance.
- Neurotrophic Ulcers: These are usually found at areas of increased pressure points on the bottom of the feet, but can occur anywhere on the foot. The base appears pinkish red or brownish/black, with punched out borders and calloused surrounding skin.
- Arterial Ulcers: These are usually found on the feet, particularly on the heels or toes and nail bed. The coloration can be yellow, brown, grey, or black, with punched out borders and the surrounding skin is often swollen and red. The entire leg will turn red when dangled and pale white when elevated due to the lack of blood flow. These wounds are very painful.