Patient Experience: Finding Healing for a Foot Wound

When a painful leg ulcer threatened a Nebraska farmer's livelihood, innovative vascular surgery at CU Medicine provided rapid healing and a return to normal life.

Wynn Fontenot was taking a shower when he discovered an open wound on the inside of his foot. He knew he hadn't done anything to cause it, so he turned to Dr. Google. What he found scared him, so he called his primary care doctor at CU Medicine, who referred him to the experts at CU Medicine Vascular Surgery – Aurora.

Fontenot owns an alfalfa farm and ranch in Nebraska, so it was important for him to heal quickly to get back to work and be able to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding his property.

Once at the clinic, Fontenot met with Steffanie Durkin, PA-C, MS. She diagnosed him with a venous ulcer caused by venous insufficiency. Fontenot had previously had his great saphenous vein treated, which facilitates blood from the lower limbs back to the heart, but unfortunately it had recanalized or opened. An ultrasound found that the great saphenous vein wasn’t functioning properly, as was the small saphenous vein, which was contributing to the ulcer around his ankle.

Durkin and Fontenot sat down to review the test results and develop a treatment plan. They decided to do a vein ablation on both veins using sclerotherapy, a procedure where foam medication is injected into the vein to cause it to scar closed. Vein ablation seals off the vein and allows healthy veins to restore blood flow.

Fontenot said he felt no pain during the procedures and was able to walk out of the clinic after each treatment.

"What made me feel most at ease was that we did ultrasounds before and after each treatment to make sure the vein was functioning as it should," Fontenot said.

"I was amazed it was over. You can't shower for a couple of days, and when I did, the hole was so small – I was amazed all this happened through that little area."

Fontenot worried the ulcer could come back, but Durkin assured him "that's a very reasonable fear, having had a vein ablation before, and then having an ulcer develop. But with this procedure, the success rates are quite high."

Follow-up ultrasounds confirmed the veins were healing well. "His ulcer healed up quite quickly," Durkin said.

Fontenot said his other varicose veins have faded, his foot isn't as bruised as it used to be, the wound has fully healed and his leg feels good.


CATEGORIES: Patient Experiences

This post was originally posted on 11/14/2023