What are they?

The body has several types of fluid circulating through it. Sometimes in persons that have difficulty walking, venous blood flow can be affected, which can result in lower-leg swelling (or edema). When a swollen leg is injured the swelling can interfere with normal healing and lead to a venous leg ulcer.

How can they be prevented?

Prevention of edema in the leg is the best way to prevent this problem.  However, if the leg is edematous (meaning it is swollen because of a build-up of fluid), prevention of injury caused by banging into things, such as coffee tables, is important.

What is the usual treatment?

If appropriate, a health-care professional will support reducing the leg edema through exercise and the use of tight stockings known as pressure garments. If a wound on the leg is present it will have lots of fluid drainage and needs to be managed with guidance from a health-care professional.

When should one seek professional help?

Any time there is an inability to control the cause of the injury or an increase in pain, odour, swelling or wound size a health-care professional should be consulted.