Please be aware that some of the images on this blog are of a graphic nature.
Approximately 500,000 people across the UK suffer with painful and uncomfortable recurring ulcers. But despite the fact that it is such a common concern, there is often much confusion over what the condition actually is, how the condition can be treated and the economic burden that wounds impose on the National Health Service.
Leg Ulcers are open, non-healing wounds of the legs, usually the lower legs or the feet. They occur when the skin has broken down to reveal open sores which are unable to naturally heal, and can often become infected if not treated correctly.
They can be big or small, painful or not painful, smelly or not smelly, wet or dry. There many different appearances of ulcers which can make the condition even more difficult to spot or understand.
At The Whiteley Clinic we’re treating more and more venous leg ulcer patients, who didn’t know a cure was available. Patients such as James Turpin who has suffered and been misdiagnosed for years.
James’ legs often ached, and dark brown patches had started to appear under the skin. Sometimes his ankles would become so sore, that small ulcers would break out on the skin. He was unable to wear shorts in the summer, as he was conscious that people would stare at his legs – but when he wore long trousers they irritated and rubbed against his sores.
Working as a restaurant manager required James to be on his feet all the time, but the pain and discomfort in his legs made this extremely difficult. His local GP suggested that he take one month from work to rest and elevate his legs, as this would help to heal them. James did as he was instructed, and thankfully the ulceration subsided.
In 2011, now aged 29, James was referred to a Dermatologist for testing. He was told that he was suffering with a rare skin condition called Pyoderma Gangrenosum, and treated accordingly.
At first, James was relieved that his condition had received an official diagnosis and felt hopeful that his pain and discomfort would finally be over. However, very soon after it became clear that he had been misdiagnosed – his symptoms were not improving, they were getting worse. As a result James struggled to walk properly and was forced to leave his job. He spent two and a half months in hospital wearing dressings and elevating his legs, but still the symptoms remained.
In 2013 James was unemployed and visited another dermatologist for further testing. He was told that he had an Autoimmune Disease, and was prescribed steroids and chemotherapy as part of his treatment.
As a result of the strong steroids that James was taking, coupled with the pain he was experiencing in his legs, James fainted and broke his back in five different places due to the fall. This meant he was unable to walk properly.
By 2017 James was depressed and describes that at times he even felt suicidal as he couldn’t bear the thought of living with the agony any more. He even pleaded with doctors to amputate his legs but they were unable to do so.
James then reached out to The Whiteley Clinic to see if our leg ulcer experts would be able to help him. He came for a Duplex Ultrasound Scan, where it was revealed that he was suffering with leg ulcers caused by venous reflux disease.
Within just a few months, James underwent Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) at The Whiteley Clinic – a minimally invasive treatment which involves destroying the veins at the root of the problem using laser fibre, whilst the patient is under anaesthetic.
As a result of his treatment, James’ ulcers have completely healed, and his legs have returned to a normal, healthy state. After 15 years of agony and upset, he can finally move on with his life, enjoy time with his family, and push forward with his career in restaurant management.
James’ experience among others has inspired a new book; Leg Ulcer Revolution by Professor Whiteley. This book highlights the fact that most venous leg ulcers can now be permanently cured. Furthermore most of these cures are achieved using only local anaesthetic treatments.
For more information and to purchase Leg Ulcer Treatment Revolution please click here.
The Whiteley Clinic are the leading vein specialists with over 20 years of experience. Through our dedicated award winning research we are able to offer the best treatment available. The Whiteley Clinic have also developed The Whiteley Protocol® which ensures that all patients receive the best level of care resulting in the best results.
To book your consultation and treatment plan call us on 0330 058 1850