Q. I have had a couple of episodes with sores on my ankles that take forever to heal. My doctors say they are venous stasis ulcers and that the only prevention is to walk.

But when I come down with one, they tell me to stay off my feet and keep the affected foot elevated and wrapped in compression bandages that are so tight they are uncomfortable. They are also hard to re-wrap.

I’d really like to know how to keep from having another sore. The last one put me out of action for most of the year. Is there any treatment that can help?

A. We do not know how to prevent venous ulcers. These are believed to form when circulation in the lower legs is not adequate to maintain the integrity of the skin. This seems to be due to malfunctioning valves in the veins.

The usual treatment, as you discovered, is compression. Research published in the British Journal of Dermatology (online Feb. 7, 2014) showed that the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin (Zocor, 40 mg/day) can significantly speed healing compared to placebo.

Both simvastatin and placebo groups continued with compression and regular wound cleansing. We hope you do not have a recurrence, but if you do, ask your doctor to review this article and consider simvastatin.

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  1. WBT

    I’ve used MediHoney on leg & foot ulcers. I feel that they heal faster.

  2. fbl

    I have a couple suggestions. First, get a Rebounder (a mini trampolinie) and use it for twenty minutes twice a day. Start very slowly with a minute then gradually increase. This improves veinous circulation. It forces blood through the one way valves and it can’t return. Yes, this works. I had a friend, who’d just been in the hospital and was offered no solutioins, stay with me for a few weeks while she recovered. Start with a very slight bounce and then build up.
    Over the past few years I’ve been thorugh the whole medical mill with my heart after it was damaged by my shoulder harness during a car crash. The Drs. and staff are continually amazed that I have not had any, yes any, swelling of my ankles or fluid around the heart. When they give a quizzical look while poking my ankles, all I say is “Rebounder”. I get a blank look and then the light dawns and they grin.
    Secondly nutrition is incredibly important for the integrity of the blood vessels. She needs enough good protein in her diet and probably some additional vitamin D and K. Either get a LOT of colored veggies in her diet and/or take some additional astazanthin.

  3. CDR

    Choose your poison… statin’s muscle aches and pains plus a higher risk for diabetes or circulation ulcers!

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