Venous stasis, or venostasis, is a condition of slow blood flow in the veins, usually of the legs. Venous stasis is a risk factor for forming blood clots in veins (venous thrombosis), as with the deep veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT).[1] Causes of venous stasis include long periods of immobility that can be encountered from driving,[2] flying, bed rest/hospitalization, or having an orthopedic cast. To prevent venous stasis and DVT/PE, methods to increase circulation in the legs include walking, calf exercises, and intermittent pneumatic compression, when possible.

Venous Stasis Ulcers

*Venous stasis ulcers occur when the veins of the leg become dilated and the valves cannot function properly.
*With age, the veins of the leg can become dilated causing a problem with the valves. The valves may cease to function or they may try to close but cannot form a complete barrier due to the larger diameter of the vessel. In either of these cases, there is a backflow of blood that pools in the lower leg. The excess blood is deoxygenated and may leak out of the vessels causing severe edema in the lower leg. The tissue of the lower leg cannot be properly oxygenated from the arteries due to the edema and an ulcer will form. The ulcers are usually located on the outer area of the lower leg around the ankle area.


  1. Valve opens to allow upward movement of blood.
  2. Valve closes to prevent blood backflow.

*Valves are present in the veins to stop the blood from flowing back down the veins of the leg. Normally, the valves close and form a barrier preventing a backflow of blood.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is a medical condition where the veins cannot pump enough oxygen-poor blood back to the heart.[1] It is sometimes referred to as an “impaired musculovenous pump”, this is due to damaged or “incompetent” valves as may occur after deep vein thrombosis (when the disease is called postthrombotic syndrome) or phlebitis. Ordinarily, women make up the largest demographic for this problem. Paratroopers, utility pole linemen, and men with leg injuries can suffer from damaged leg vein valves and develop this condition.

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