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Leg Pain

Leg Pain Surgery at North Texas Surgical Specialists

There are many causes of leg pain. Arterial and venous etiologies are quite common and become more prevalent with increasing age. Our experts can identify and manage these conditions. They also provide professional advice to delay and sometimes reverse disease progression.

Blocked blood flow to your legs can cause pain and numbness. It also can raise your risk of getting an infection in the affected limbs, which your body may have a hard time fighting off.

If severe enough, blocked blood flow can cause gangrene (tissue death). In very serious cases, this can lead to leg amputation.

If you have leg pain when you walk or climb stairs, talk with your doctor. Sometimes older people think that leg pain is just a symptom of aging – however, the cause of the pain could actually be PAD. Tell your doctor if you’re feeling pain in your legs and discuss whether you should be tested for PAD.

What is arterial leg pain?

This is what many people refer to as “poor circulation” or PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease). It is usually caused by the accumulation of plaque in the wall of arteries, the blood vessels that take blood away from the heart and towards different body organs. When this happens in the legs, it can cause painful cramping, along with numbness and weakness.

You may also notice that your affected feet are cold to the touch or the skin is shiny. Mild cases can present as “claudication”, cramping in the calf muscles with exercise that resolves with rest. In more advanced cases sores and ulcers can develop and are often slow to heal. Patients might also develop “rest pain”, pain in the legs even without exercise or activity.

What is venous leg pain?

Veins in the legs have one-way valves that allow flow from the foot to the groin. If these valves malfunction, blood starts to “reflux” or leak backwards. This results in increased pressure in the legs, especially at the end of the day and after prolonged standing. Patients might experience pain, heaviness, or aching. They might also develop varicose veins, leg swelling, discoloration, and in advanced cases, painful leg ulcers.

 

How can the cause of leg pain be diagnosed?

This all starts with a thorough history and physical examination. Imaging studies are also helpful. These include arterial or venous ultrasound Duplex studies, venous reflux studies, and CT scans.

How is leg pain treated?

It depends on the cause. We usually recommend starting with conservative measures like weight loss, smoke cessation, exercise, leg elevation, and compression stockings. Certain medications can be helpful. Sometimes an intervention might be required. This might range from a simple office procedure to catheter-based interventions. Open surgery might be required in certain cases.

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