Many people get swelling in their legs and ankles as they get older. Sometimes it’s caused by a serious underlying issue related to problems with the heart, lungs, kidneys or liver that cause fluid build-up. In other cases, it can be caused by an injury or condition that causes inflammation. Often times, swelling in the legs is caused by venous disease and varicose veins.
Venous Disease Becomes More Common as We Age
The vein specialists at Florida’s Medicus Vein Care see a lot of cases of swelling that are caused by venous diseases such as venous insufficiency and venous reflux disease. It is estimated that 75 percent of Americans have some type of vein disorder. Women are 50 percent more likely to suffer from a vein disorder than men. The likelihood of suffering some type of vein issue increases as people get into their 50s.
Leg swelling that is caused by venous disease and does not have an underlying cause related to other disease or injury can still result in pain and discoloration of the leg. The lower legs and ankles are particularly susceptible to swelling when someone has a venous disease.
What Do Valves Have to Do with It?
To understand how venous disease causes swelling, it’s essential to understand how the veins work. As you know, veins carry blood to the heart, while arteries carry it away from the heart. Valves in the veins open and close to keep the blood moving upward towards the heart.
If a valve is weakened or fails, some of this blood moves in the wrong direction, down the leg, where it pools in the veins in the lower leg and ankle. This causes the vein and the leg or ankle itself to swell. The great saphenous vein is the largest of the superficial veins. Because it carries blood all the way up and down the leg, it is most likely to be impacted by vein disease. But not to worry, venous disease is not life threatening.
At Medicus Vein Care, we offer a number of vein treatments that can help reduce swelling caused by venous disease. Sometimes conservative treatments, such as keeping the leg elevated over the heart or wearing compression stockings, are enough to reduce the swelling. We also offer vein treatments like endovenous laser ablation (EVLA). Our EVLA procedure in Jupiter, FL is a minimally-invasive procedure that we do in the comfort of our vein treatment center. It helps with swelling, discoloration and discomfort caused by varicose veins and the vein problems that cause them. Call us today to see how we can help your legs feel better.