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Vascular Surgery

Veins, age.. DVT or VV?

06/21/2006

Question:

I am 18 years old and a female. There is something wrong with my leg. I first believed it to be vericose veins and I began to develop symptoms when I was 14. At this point, there wasn`t a lot pain but I could see two bumps (the bumps are about an inch apart) that were purple-blue on my right leg (lower, about half way from knee to ankle, closer to ankle more to my right). So I stopped standing as much.. and decreased a lot of the things that I thought may be causing it. My job requires me to be on my feet most of the day and I`m usually walking. Now my right ankle feels very weak and sore and feels and looks swollen. I`m guessing circulation. I wrap my leg from lower calf to just about my knee or wear supportive hosiery and this seems to help out a lot. 4 years ago, the pain was mild and the bumps were very noticeable, now, the bumps don`t show until after I take a shower and there can be extreme pain. The longer that I`ve been at this job, the higher the pain seems to go if I don`t wear anything tight around it. The pain has reached the back of my knee, and about an inch higher. I`m not sure if it is DVT or vericose veins or whatever else. My main question: Is there an age limit or something when people are known to have these problems? No one believes me or takes me seriously (my doctor has) because only `elderly people` seem to have these problems. And.. if you have a hunch, what do you think is wrong with my leg?

Answer:

You likely have some element of venous insufficiency which means some of the many, many fine valves in the veins of the leg are not working well, causing the surface veins to dilate and varicose veins to form. A DVT does not typically cause a vein to enlarge on the surface.  Venous insufficiency is not a dangerous condition and does not put you at risk for DVT or bleeding, but it can affect your quality of life. I would suggest using some knee high compression stockings in the 15-20 mmHg range. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated