Chronic Venous Insufficiency Is Dangerous for Lower Legs

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a chronic condition affecting circulation to the feet and lower legs. In order to understand this problem, you must first understand the process of circulation. With every beat, your heart sends bright red, oxygen-rich blood throughout your body via a system of arteries. The cells throughout the body use this oxygen and then the veins return the now-dark, oxygen-depleted blood to the heart, which re-oxygenates the red blood cells and begins the process over again.

Pumping blood to and from the extremities is challenging. Your feet and legs are far from your heart and the blood must travel a long distance, often against gravity. To facilitate this process, your muscles squeeze the veins deep inside your legs and one-way flaps called valves) keep the blood flowing in the right direction. When the muscles contract, the veins open; as the muscles relax, the veins close, keeping the blood from pooling in your legs. This process is called the venous pump. When the venous pump fails, the veins in your legs are unable to pump enough blood back to the heart and chronic venous insufficiency occurs.

Symptoms of CVI include:

CVI can lead to varicose veins, blood vessels that bulge and cause pain. Other related conditions include phlebitis and deep vein thrombosis, dangerous blood clots in the legs.

If you notice swelling or discoloration in your feet, ankles, or lower legs, the first step you should take is to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. Your foot doctor is a medical specialist with years of training and experience, and is the best-qualified medical professional to examine, diagnose, and treat this part of your body.  Are you concerned about CVI or anything else related to your foot health? Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos can help. Schedule a visit in My Chicago Foot Expert: Stavros Alexopoulos, DPM’s modern, comfortable office today. Call our friendly, professional staff at (773) 561-8100 or click here to get started.

Author
Stavros Alexopoulos One of Chicago’s top podiatrists, Stavros Alexopoulos, DPM, treats routine to complex foot and ankle issues. Dr. Alexopoulos is currently accepting new patients at My Chicago Foot Expert located near Ravenswood, North Park, and Jefferson Park.

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