The late Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert once quipped, \”The Internet is wonderful…you can find information about anything there. And some of it is even true.\”
The accuracy of Ebert’s observation is even more apparent than when you type the phrase \”swollen legs and ankles\” into your search engine. Doing this, you get over two million \”hits\” on the phrase: enough for life-time reading, yet 99% wrong. It can be broken down as following. A significant portion of what you find is generated by for-profit entities and, therefore, is heavily biased toward their products and ideas. Of what is left, another big part is produced by non-professionals and, thus, lacks very basic knowledge, is heavily influenced by emotions and conclusions derived by personal and family experience. This type, even when it is logical and presented in systemic way, must be ignored. Finally, considerations provided by healthcare professionals about what is called “peripheral edema” much more often than in any other area of medicine are wrong. For example, by far the most frequently cited on internet cause of swollen legs and ankles is kidneys or heart failure. Regardless of prevalence of the above condition, cardiac and renal failure lead to retention of excessive amount of water by the body and, therefore, development of not only swollen legs and ankles, but also to swelling of the rest of our body. The heart and kidney, therefore, are never responsible for isolated swollen legs and ankles, when the problem is not in retention of excessive amount of water, but in abnormal distribution of adequate amount of water between our lower extremities and the rest of the body. Coincidentally, that is the reason why water pills not only shouldn’t be given, but furthermore are absolutely contraindicated for the treatment of isolated edema in general.
Next, among associated with medicine groups and individuals, recognizing the described above physiological phenomena, the prevailing majority still blames a wrong entity responsible for formation of swollen legs and ankles: lymphostasis, or edema caused by blocked lymphatic channels. The reality is, however, very different and is as following. Lymphedema, which coincidentally nearly always affects only one leg, is almost always caused by infection with tropical parasite called Filaria in the developing countries and by surgical dissection of the lymph nodes for malignant tumors in the developed ones. Congenital lymphostasis, also called elephantiasis, is due to hereditary absence of specific lymphatic groups. It never affects both legs and is obvious from the very early age. It is, however, so exceedingly rare, that most of the American physicians have never seen one during their entire professional life.
The above, of course, is an extremely simplified outline of very basic criteria of what in medicine is called “differential diagnosis” of a symptom swollen legs and ankles. Currently, it has been very well established, that in the United States nearly all cases of the swollen legs and ankles are not cardiac, renal failure, not due to decreased albumin or chronic debilitating disease, not due to lymphostasis or the post-traumatic state, but almost always a part of clinical picture of one out of several pathological conditions grouped under the name of “venous insufficiency”, known also as “chronic stasis venopathy”, or “dilated venous vasculopathy”, as well as “chronic venous hypertension”, or “post-thrombotic syndrome” and many others.
What do Manhattan residents really need to know about swollen legs and ankles?
It is well-known that up to 60% of the American women and over 30% of American men over 60 years of age suffer from some form of circulatory problem with their lower extremities. Since swollen legs and ankles is one of the typical early symptoms of the disease, should you happen to notice swollen legs and ankles, either yours or your friends and family members, it is mandatory to have dedicated circulatory evaluation by a specialized in the area physician.
So what\’s the good news? Why is this valuable for me to know?
The good news is that, although vein disease is very common and can lead to devastating complications and one of the most commonly being misdiagnosed and, therefore, mistreated by healthcare professional, when managed appropriately, is not only treatable, but also curable. Advances in medical technology have enabled your vein experts in Manhattan and Brooklyn to accurately detect and diagnose vein disease via a simple, painless, and non-invasive venous health screening that takes well under an hour. Using state-of-the-art technology like Doppler ultrasound, NYC vascular doctors can look beneath the surface of the skin to pinpoint vein damage and disease, and even visualize the blood as it flows through your veins.
If circulatory problems are detected, they can be treated just as quickly, easily and commonly with no interventions or procedures required.
If you have swollen legs and ankles, call us today!
Give NY vein specialist Dr. Lev Khitin a call at (212) 575-8346 to arrange a consultation and set up an appointment for a thorough venous health screening. In under an hour you will know for sure the reason for your swollen legs and ankles and will be presented with the most detailed plan of action, created individually for you. Wouldn’t you call is a \”good news\” after seeing the list of other possible causes for your swollen legs and ankles you found on Google?
For more information, see our website at www.veinstreatment.com.