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Understanding the Different Types of Vascular Leg Pain

Understanding the Different Types of Vascular Leg Pain

Leg pain comes from a wide range of sources. Overexertion, injury, and arthritis can all contribute to sore legs. It’s easy to dismiss some discomfort as an inevitable part of aging from time to time as well. 

An underdiagnosed cause of leg pain stems from problems with blood flow. Since there are so many reasons why your legs are hurting, you may not suspect that blood vessels may be the reason you’re feeling pain. 

A visit to Surgical Care East provides you with the perspective of vascular surgeon Dr. Dennis E Resetarits. We’re located in Camillus, New York, where we serve the broader Syracuse area.

As an expert in disorders of arteries and veins, Dr. Resetarits is well-suited to diagnose blood flow issues that often affect your legs and feet first. Dr. Resetarits can tell you if your issue stems from any of three types of vascular problems. 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Hardening of the arteries isn’t something that happens only around your heart. In fact, the first symptoms of atherosclerosis might be in your legs, the farthest periphery of your body. A common symptom of PAD is called claudication, leg pain that arises when you’re walking. 

Claudication can include cramping of muscles in the calves, hips, or thighs. When the condition advances, you may notice pain even when you’re not walking or climbing stairs. As well as leg pain, you might notice other symptoms such as: 

You may be more susceptible to PAD if you’re older, a smoker, overweight, or have medical conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension, or diabetes. 

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) 

CVI often includes varicose veins, twisted and gnarled veins that show through the skin of your legs, revealing changes caused by valves inside your veins failing and allowing blood to pool and distort the shape of veins. 

Often, it’s merely a cosmetic issue without physical symptoms, but advanced cases can cause itchiness, weakness, aches, and pain. 

You’ll likely also have swelling in your ankles or lower legs since fluids can’t work their way back through the circulatory systems as efficiently as they once did. You may see flaky, dry skin, spontaneous venous ulcers forming on your lower legs, as well as new veins becoming varicose. 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

CVI may lead to blood clots forming in deeper leg veins. DVT is another cause of leg pain, and it can also result in swelling, but it’s possible to have clots without noticeable symptoms. If a clot breaks away and lodges in your lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, a potentially deadly condition. 

DVT usually affects only one side, and pain typically starts in the calf, causing sensations ranging from aches to cramps. You may also experience sensations of warmth in the affected leg, and skin discoloration may be noticeable. 

Contact us at Surgical Care East to book an exam and consultation by phone or online. The sooner you start treatment for vascular leg issues, the better chance you have of avoiding serious health issues. Make your appointment today.

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