Painful swelling of the legs and ankles can have many causes. Often this condition is caused by overexertion or strain during exercise, but if this is the case the symptoms usually go away quickly, within a few days. If your pain and swelling have persisted and become chronic, it may indicate more serious problems, so you should definitely see a New Jersey vein specialist to rule out possible serious causes such as kidney or congestive heart failure. These conditions are rare, but it’s good to check for them, if only to rule them out.
In many cases, it turns out that the cause of the swelling is an abnormal buildup of fluids in the legs, caused by vein disease. This is often the case if the swelling and pain are accompanied by feelings of weakness or tiredness in the legs, or if you also have visible signs of vein disease such as varicose veins or changes in skin color or texture.
How do you find out if your symptoms are caused by vein disease?
The best way to determine this is to contact the best vein doctor in Bergen County and schedule a venous health screening. These checkups are painless and non-invasive, but allow a New Jersey Vein Specialist to determine the state of your vein health in about an hour. By measuring your blood pressure in several locations, they can tell if there are blockages that are preventing your blood from circulating properly, and thus causing fluid buildup in your legs. They can also use modern visualization techniques such as Doppler ultrasound to look beneath the surface of the skin to detect vein diseases like chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
CVI is the most common cause of varicose veins, but also of chronically swollen legs and ankles. It occurs when the tiny, one-way valves that control blood flow back to the heart start to fail and allow blood to seep back into the veins and pool there. This causes them to swell and turn blue, but also increases pressure in the veins themselves, which can lead to swelling and pain. DVT can also cause leg pain, but is much more serious because it causes blood clots to form in the deep veins of your legs. If these clots move to your brain they can cause a stroke, and if they move to your lungs they can cause a pulmonary embolism.
If your doctor finds evidence of vein disease, what can he do about it?
First, many of the symptoms of painfully swollen legs and ankles can be eased and managed using conservative treatments – the use of compression stockings, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. These therapies can get you back on your feet and back enjoying life.
For more permanent results, minimally-invasive vein treatment in Hackensack such as sclerotherapy or radiofrequency ablation allow the permanent removal of varicose veins. A tiny catheter is inserted into the diseased vein, guided into place using ultrasound, and then either a chemical solution or heat is used to seal the vein. Within a short time it is absorbed into surrounding tissue, and healthier veins in the area take over the job of routing blood back to the heart. DVT can be treated with endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) to remove dangerous blood clots. With any of these therapies, once the diseased veins have been treated, the swelling and pain caused by them also goes away.
So what’s my next step if I want to talk to a vein doctor about my painfully swollen legs?
It’s pretty simple – pick up the telephone and call Cross County Cardiology at 201-299-4479 or go online. We’ll set up an appointment with our New Jersey veinspecialist for an initial consultation and screening to look into the causes of your symptoms, and then advise you as to the best treatment options.