Grand Round: The management of venous stasis ulcers

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The prevalence of lower extremity venous disease in our population is greater than that of peripheral arterial occlusive disease, although the latter receives more attention. An estimated 35 percent of the adult population has lower extremity venous abnormalities and one-fifth of these individuals will acquire one or more venous ulcers in their lifetime. Up to 600,000 individuals in the United States have a venous ulcer at any given time, and the annual incidence is 0.35% of the adult population. As many as 2 million working days are lost each year to venous ulcers with up to one-third of these patients limited in their ability to work outside the home and nearly 13% retiring prematurely as a result of the disease.