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Your Veins May Be Leaking



06_Healthy_vs_Diseased_Vein_IllustrationJoseph G. Magnant, MD, FACS, RPVI

Venous insufficiency, or leaky veins, is often the underlying cause of many seemingly unrelated symptoms. A simple, noninvasive evaluation by a board-certified vein specialist can expose that hidden culprit.

Carl was suffering with extreme leg pain.

“My legs would tire easily during the day,” describes the 47-year-old physical therapist. “Then, at night, there was a burning sensation with very severe pins-and-needles type tingling. It would get to the point where it would keep me up; I couldn’t sleep. But believe it or not, I had virtually no swelling, bulging, or discoloration.”

Carl sought the help of a podiatrist: “My diagnosis was tarsal tunnel syndrome.”

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition characterized by pain and numbing sensations caused by abnormal pressure on a nerve in the foot. It is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects the hands and wrists.

The tarsal tunnel is made up of the anklebone on one side and a thick band of fibrous tissue called the flexor retinaculum on the other, forming a tunnel through which several tendons, the tibial nerve, artery, and veins pass through to get to the foot.

“A nerve was actually getting pressed and causing pain and numbness in each of my feet,” recounts Carl. “In order to try to relieve the pressure, they made incisions behind my ankles and performed what they call a retinaculum release, where they cut the retinaculum. During the surgery, they noted that there were huge veins inside the tunnels, but because they did not know how competent the other veins running through my ankles and feet were, they did nothing about them.”

Carl says that initially the pain subsided: “I got complete relief of the symptoms for from four to six months afterward, but as soon as the retinaculum grew back, the pain returned.

“As a physical therapist, I started thinking from a mechanical standpoint: There should be some way to remove the problematic veins from the tunnel. I sought the medical advice of another podiatrist, and he recommended that I see Dr. Magnant.”

Joseph G. Magnant, MD, FACS, is a board-certified vascular surgeon who specializes in vein treatment. His practice, Vein Specialists at Royal Palm Square in Fort Myers, Florida, is 100% dedicated to the modern evaluation and treatment of leg vein disorders.