Lateral venous ulcer and short saphenous vein insufficiency

A. Bass, D. Chayen, E. E. Weinmann, M. Ziss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of this report is to emphasize the importance of saphenopopliteal junction (SPJ) reflux in the genesis of lateral leg ulcers and to suggest a proper diagnostic and therapeutic approach. Methods: Twenty legs with isolated lateral perimalleolar ulcers form the basis for this report. None had medial ankle ulcers, and most showed no hyperpigmentation or lipodermatosclerosis. Fifteen had been treated with a nonvenous diagnosis. Reflux at the SPJ was detected by handheld continuous wave Doppler and was confirmed with duplex scans. No other abnormalities were found. Brief conservative treatment and duplex localization of the SPJ preceded its ligation and division. Results: All ulcers healed within 12 weeks, but one in a radiated leg recurred at 9 months. Other complications included two hematomas and one each of ankle edema, superficial wound infection, and sural neuropathy. Conclusions: Even isolated lateral leg and ankle ulcers with minimal accessory venous stigmata can be of venous reflux origin. Detection with the continuous wave Doppler and confirmation of reflux and localization of the SPJ allow surgical correction to proceed swiftly with an expectation of satisfactory results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-657
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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