Veins carry blood back to the heart.
Legs contain a network of veins.
Superficial veins run parallel to deep veins.
Perforating veins carry blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins.
Veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart.
Diseased veins contain valves that do not function properly and allow blood to pool in the legs.
Over time this chronic process leads to a progression of symptoms including varicose veins, leg discomfort, leg swelling, and skin & soft tissue changes including ulceration.
Varicose veins bulge especially when upright and often cause symptoms that include leg fatigue, heaviness, aching, throbbing, itching, burning, cramping, restless leg syndrome (RLS), leg swelling, and skin changes.
Thrombophlebitis relates to the inflammation and pain that accompanies clots in the superficial or deep veins.
Superficial thrombophlebitis is recognized by heat, redness, pain, and localized swelling involving a region of varicose veins.
Spider veins are small blue or red vessels that appear in clusters or webs.
They are considered cosmetic by insurance plans.
Leg swelling occurs as a result of chronic venous insufficiency that occur with or without varicose veins.
Not everyone with varicose veins will experience leg swelling.
Lymphedema is a disorder of the lymphatic circulation that can compound the effects of chronic venous insufficiency. Recognition of this is essential as treatment goals target long term objectives of lymphedema management as well as addressing venous disease.
Venous insufficiency over time can evolve to skin changes primarily along the lower calf and ankle region. The skin becomes discolored and stiff, losing its natural elasticity, texture, and resilience. This result of chronic inflammation is referred to as stasis dermatitis and lipodermatosclerosis, conditions that predispose to cellulitis and ulceration.
A wound more frequently found along the inner ankle that occurs as a result of chronic venous insufficiency or venous hypertension. The pain from venous ulcers can be minor or moderately severe. Healing these ulcers involves determining patterns of venous disease that can be aided by treatment, wound care, compression therapy, and addressing other medical conditions that interfere with wound healing such as diabetes and hypertension.
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