When should I concern about leg pain

When should I concern about leg pain?


If you have the following symptoms accompanied by your leg pain, then you must pay more attention and seek medical consult:

  • sudden swelling
  • inability to move your foot finger upward or downward 
  • moving foot fingers cause severe pain
  • have recent surgery
  • start taking new pills
  • your foot become pail or blue
  • cannot hold your urine


In the following, we will explain the cases of foot pain that need emergent medical attention which are mostly because of vascular problems that categorized as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or peripheral artery disease (PDA). Other less emergent causes have been discussed before and you can use the correspond links.  


What is DVT?

What are the symptoms of DVT?

Why is DVT dangerous?

What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PDA)?

Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease

When to see a doctor?



What is DVT?

One of the causes of foot pain that requires immediate referral to a medical center is the formation of a clot in the deep veins of the foot, which is called DVT.

DVT is a very serious disorder that often occurs in the leg. The presence of a clot in a deep vein or DVT is complicated when this clot moves towards pulmonary and causes occlusion of pulmonary artery that called pulmonary embolism that is very critical circumstances.


What are the symptoms of DVT?

  • Swelling of the foot, ankle or leg (usually unilateral)
  • Cramps in the lower limbs, especially the legs (cramps mean sudden contractions accompanied by pain and muscle stiffness)
  • Pain, that sometimes occurs only when standing or walking.
  • Usually the part of the skin that is adjacent to the affected area is warmer than other parts of the skin.
  • Sometimes superficial veins become large and swollen.

Note that DVT is not always symptomatic. 


Why is DVT dangerous?

The blood clot in the deep vein can detach and move upward through heart. This cloth will push into pulmonary arteries, gets stuck and make them occulted therefor the oxigenation process of our pulmonary fails. This condition called pulmonary embolism, and could be lethal if left untreated emergently.

Therefore, if you experience sudden swelling and pain in one side of your lower limb, you should go to an equipped medical center for diagnostic and therapeutic measures.


Peripheral Arterial Disease (PDA):

As time pass, the wall of arteries can be damaged, inflamed, and thickened, like the coronary arteries of the heart, the process called atherosclerosis.

In peripheral arterial disease(PDA), the accumulation of fatty deposits in the walls of arteries reduces the space inside the artery or the so-called partial blockage of arteries. This disease can occur in the arteries of the kidneys and organs of the gastrointestinal tract and limbs. The importance of this disease is that in addition to the damage to the involved area, most people who have peripheral arterial disease also have similar lesions in the coronary arteries of the heart. In other words, people with peripheral arterial disease are at high risk for heart attack and cardiovascular events.


Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease

Symptoms of peripheral arteries in the foot include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the legs and buttocks, especially during exercise (With the cessation of activity, this pain also decreases. This is called the intermittent claudication).The affected person feels cramps, fatigue and heaviness in the legs.
  • Hair loss in the leg is very suggestive for PDA
  • History of delayed leg or foot wound healing 
  • Cold foot and leg 

It is very important to see a doctor to evaluate the condition of the arteries and the need to start medical treatment.


NOTE: as both of the above mentioned conditions are medical emergencies, do not treat arbitrarily.


When to see a doctor?

  • If you have diabetes and your foot ulcer is chronic, see your doctor or health center for a checkup.
  • If you have pain, swelling and heat in your legs that is accompanied by fever, fatigue and general weakness, especially if you have a history of trauma or lower limb surgery, do not miss the time to see a doctor.
  • If you are one of those people who have undergone joint replacement surgery (pelvis or knee) If the joint is suffering from unusual pain, especially with local warmth, redness and swelling, you should see a doctor or medical center as soon as possible for examination and treatment.
  • If the pain in your feet does not allow you to put the sole of the foot on the floor and you should not hesitate to see a doctor.
  • Deep and dull night pains that do not go away with painkiller and over time, especially if they are accompanied by fever, weight loss and general weakness, should be examined by a qualified physician as soon as possible.
  • In patients with disc herniation or spinal problems (osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis), if:
  • Their back pain does not improve with conventional treatments
  • If the weakness of the buttocks, thighs and legs muscles have occurred
  • If there is numbness in the legs
  • If chronic low back pain is associated with urinary and fecal incontinence
  • If a person has sexual dysfunction following chronic low back pain

In all of the above cases, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to assess the cause and relieve the pressure on the nerve.







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