Venous disease affects about 20% of the U.S. population, about 50 million adults according to Dr. Joseph Magnant, founder of Vein Specialists. He says, “Venous disease is a medical condition like hypertension and high cholesterol.”
But the problem is, the majority of people suffering from venous disease don’t realize they have it. Those who are experiencing symptoms of leg discomfort often seek help from pain management professionals, dermatologists, and orthopedic surgeons rather than consider the possibility of vein disease as the cause.
Take John for instance, he was undergoing orthopedic treatment for a number of problems with his legs, knees, and feet. He was in a lot of pain and thought things couldn’t get much worse. “Then I developed a burning in my right leg that did not seem to go away. It was new and different from all of the other pain,” says John.
Looking for answers, Ganos went to a neurologist who was unable to identify any neurologic problems. Then his orthopedist suggested a visit to Dr. Magnant. “I had not even considered the fact that there might be an issue with my veins.”
When Dr. Magnant met John, he remembers, “I wasn’t really sure what our chances of helping him were. His symptoms were not classic for vein problems.” John says, “I really didn’t see my veins protruding much, but apparently there was a problem.” He tried everything to get relief including, medications, herbal remedies, but nothing worked. “My legs were heavy, they were dead, they were burning, and I was worried I would lose all use of them before much longer.”
An ultrasound performed by Vein Specialists revealed John had leaky veins. Dr. Magnant later performed an endovenous ablation in which heat is used to seal the veins and stop the leaking and it worked. “The effect was immediate,” says Ganos. “The pain from the burning went away. And after my veins were fixed, there was an improvement in circulation that I think has really helped to relieve many of my other symptoms.”
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So many of Dr. Magnant’s patients come from orthopedic surgeons that he has coined the term “ortho-venous disease.” He explains, “Many patients with venous disease are being assessed for knee or hip arthritis. In the process their physician often may notice varicose veins, swelling, or discoloration of the skin. If the x-rays don’t suggest an orthopedic cause of their leg symptoms, or even if they do have arthritis and vein disease, it may be appropriate to evaluate the venous side of the equation.” Taking care of venous issues, before or simultaneously to orthopedic treatments, can enhance healing, improve compliance with physical therapy and reduce perioperative risks such as wound complications or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
If you’re seeing a pain management or orthopedic physician and you have symptoms or signs (as noted above) of vein disease, “It may be a good idea to request a thorough vein evaluation as part of your workup.” He also recommends therapies such as compression stockings. “If a compression hose trial significantly improves their pain, it is a predictor of a good response to vein ablation therapy.”
Venous disease is part of the total health and healing puzzle according to Dr. Magnant. He encourages “Have an open mind and consider alternatives to the management of your leg pain.
John says, “My legs feel so much better. I can get up easier and climb stairs better. Dr. Magnant made a huge contribution in my ability to regain functionality in my legs. Modern treatments are so advanced and it is so easy to fix venous disease. I recommend to anyone having problems they can’t fix, to look into possible venous causes of their symptoms.”
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