Leg pain that isn't the result of an injury might be due to a circulatory problem. If you've got unexplained leg pain, board-certified specialist Ramzan Zakir, MD, of Cardiac & Vascular Interventions of New Jersey, can help. At his practice in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Dr. Zakir diagnoses and treats vascular conditions that cause leg pain, like deep vein thrombosis and peripheral arterial disease. Call the office today to schedule a consultation or use the online booking form to arrange your appointment.
Leg pain is often due to conditions like arthritis or musculoskeletal injuries, but vascular disorders are also frequent causes. Common conditions Dr. Zakir sees include:
CVI is a disorder of the valves inside your veins. These valves help blood travel back to your heart from your feet and legs, but if they stop working properly, blood starts to pool in the veins. Varicose veins are a visible sign of CVI.
PAD is due to atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in your arteries. PAD affects your legs, making the arteries narrower and harder and depriving your legs and feet of oxygen.
The lack of oxygen in your muscles causes claudication, a key symptom of PAD. Claudication causes leg pain when you’re walking that eases when you stop. Eventually, claudication pain may continue even when you’re resting, causing constant, severe discomfort.
DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in your deep veins. It's most likely to affect your legs, with clots partially or entirely blocking the vein that carries blood back to your heart.
DVT is an urgent problem as clots may break off and travel to major organs, triggering a potentially fatal issue such as a pulmonary embolism in your lungs.
With each of these conditions, you might experience other issues in addition to pain. One of these is leg swelling; another is skin discoloration. Both can arise when fluid builds up in the tissues as they deteriorate.
Leg discoloration may also be a result of staining from hemosiderin, a pigment released when hemoglobin in your blood breaks down.
To diagnose the cause of your leg pain, Dr. Zakir looks at your health, lifestyle, and medical history, and then performs a physical exam.
To find out how well your blood is flowing through your veins and arteries and identify any blockages, Dr. Zakir might use diagnostic tests such as Doppler ultrasound or angiography.
Methods of treating your leg pain vary depending on the cause of your problem:
DVT requires urgent treatment to stop blood clots from traveling around your body. This typically involves taking intravenous (IV) or oral anticoagulant medication to thin your blood. You may also need thrombolysis, a catheterization technique that delivers clot-busting medication.
CVI treatments include sclerotherapy, endovenous laser therapy, and endovenous radiofrequency ablation. These techniques cause the diseased veins to collapse, sealing them permanently and diverting blood through healthy veins.
PAD is most often due to lifestyle issues, so improving your diet, losing weight, and exercising regularly can stop it from getting worse. You might need medication such as statins to lower cholesterol levels in your blood or undergo minimally invasive angioplasty to widen the arteries.
For a prompt diagnosis and expert treatment of leg pain, call Cardiac & Vascular Interventions of New Jersey today or book an appointment online.