Vein Specialists located in Charlotte, NC
When you have leg pain that you know wasn’t caused by an injury, chances are the pain could be related to a vein problem. Peter Ford, MD, FACS, RPVI, and the team at Vascular Solutions in Charlotte, North Carolina, have extensive experience diagnosing the cause of leg pain and use advanced therapies to treat the problem and prevent complications. If you struggle with leg pain, schedule an appointment by calling the office or request an appointment online today.
Leg Pain Q & A
What vein conditions cause leg pain?
If you have leg pain that’s exacerbated by prolonged standing or sitting, and relieved by leg elevation, it’s possible you have one of the following vein problems:
Venous reflux (Chronic venous insufficiency)
The veins in your legs are a series of pipes that allow blood to return to the heart. Interspersed along the internal aspect of leg veins are small flaps of tissue that function as one-way valves. These valves open to let blood flow up your leg, and then close to prevent it from going back down. When the valves in your veins weaken, blood can reflux backward. This condition is known as venous reflux. As the blood falls backward, the pressure inside the vein increases, and blood can begin to pool in the lower portion of the leg.
Venous reflux is a very common and underdiagnosed condition. Venous reflux is the underlying problem that causes varicose veins, ankle discoloration, leg wounds (leg ulcers), leg cramps, leg fatigue, leg heaviness, and leg pain.
Abnormally dilated veins located close to the skin surface are called varicose veins. Varicose veins form when the pressure inside a vein overwhelms the strength of the vein wall. Increased pressure within varicose veins is most commonly caused by venous reflux, a condition where the valves in the upstream veins have become dysfunctional. As blood accumulates in the varicose veins, the veins become engorged and commonly can be seen bulging and twisting underneath the skin surface. Superficial varicose veins tend to be dark blue or purple in color, whereas slightly deeper varicose veins tend to bulge through the skin without causing any appreciable change in skin color.
Deep vein thrombosis
Blood clot formation within a deep vein in the leg is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This common condition is potentially serious due to the possibility that portions of the clot can break free and travel within the veins all the way to the heart and lungs. When a blood clot moves from the legs to the lungs, this condition is called pulmonary embolism. Leg pain and leg swelling are the two primary symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Leg swelling (Edema)
Edema is a medical term for swelling. There are many conditions that can result in leg edema, including heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, orthopedic issues, lymphedema, and vein problems.
What other symptoms might I experience?
Leg pain is a common symptom of vein problems. In addition to leg pain, there are several other symptoms associated with venous reflux and varicose veins:
- Heavy-feeling legs
- Itching legs
- Burning legs
- Muscle cramps
- Swelling in your lower legs
- Changes in skin color
- An open sore on your lower leg (especially around the ankle)
How do vein specialists treat leg pain?
The Vascular Solutions team develops an individualized treatment plan based on the condition causing your leg pain.
Deep vein thrombosis requires immediate attention and is commonly treated with blood-thinning medications.
Venous reflux is typically treated by sealing the problem vein. This redirects blood flow to remaining healthy veins in the leg. The Vascular Solutions team performs minimally-invasive procedures such as ClosureFast®, VenaSeal™, and Varithena® to achieve this goal.
Varicose veins are commonly treated with sclerotherapy, but sometimes require direct removal using a procedure called phlebectomy.
If you have leg pain that doesn’t improve or gets worse, call Vascular Solutions, or request an appointment online today.