Why are My Legs Swollen and Hurt So Much?
By Robert W. Hodge, MD, FACS
Chronic venous insufficiency affects millions of people in the United States. Most people have never heard of it and do
not seek treatment. Our veins are the blood vessels that bring blood back to the heart. Our heart pumps blood out
through the arteries and comes back to the heart through the veins.
Venous blood returning to the heart from the legs has to fight gravity all day long. The veins do not feel the pumping
pressure of the heart. Blood is kept moving in one direction in the veins by a series of one-way valves in the veins.
If these valves become faulty, blood can flow backwards and pool in the legs which can lead to swelling. Swelling can
lead to aching, throbbing, restless and warm legs.
Diagnosis of chronic vein trouble is generally done during an examination. An ultrasound, or venous Doppler, of the
legs is the test of choice to show abnormal veins.
Patients with symptoms and abnormal veins can also qualify for what is called a vein closure procedure which is a more
permanent solution to the problem. For an appointment, call 716-434-6141