This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Venous leg ulceration

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Chronic venous leg ulceration is defined as an area of discontinuity of the epidermis, persisting for 4 weeks or more, caused by venous incompetence and associated venous hypertension (1,2)

  • it is the most common form of leg ulcer and accounts for 60 to 80% of lower limb ulceration
  • prevalence is suggested to be around 1-1.5%
    • in the UK, prevalence is estimated to be between 0.1% and 0.3% while in the USA it is approximately 1%
  • more common in women and older persons
  • the condition imposes a heavy burden on the healthcare finances
    • costs of venous leg ulcers are 1% of the total annual healthcare budget in western European countries
    • in the USA, treatment costs for venous ulcers in more than 6 million patients approach $2.5bn (£1.6bn; €1.8bn)

Venous ulcers may be:

  • primary - develop spontaneously as a result of venous hypertension
  • secondary - secondary to an identifiable underlying cause e.g. - venous thrombosis or trauma) (1)


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page