Leg Pain- Causes, Treatments and Prevention

Vascular issues are too blame for many cases of leg pain, discomfort, and discoloration. Interventional Radiologists specialize in vascular issues and have helped develop some of the most advanced minimally invasive procedures for these serious problems.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (Venous Thromboembolism [VTE])

Pain tends to be constant and due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, in the deep leg vein. It is a very serious condition that can cause permanent damage to the leg, known as post-thrombotic syndrome. Clots can also break off and traveling to the lung, causing life-threatening heart failure, known as a pulmonary embolism. When the circulation of the blood slows down due to illness, injury or inactivity, blood can accumulate or “pool”, which provides an ideal setting for clot formation. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include discoloration of the legs, swelling of the leg or lower limb, visible surface veins, calf or leg pain or tenderness, warm skin, and leg fatigue. Risk factors are family history of DVT, immobility, recent surgery, being over the age of 40, hormone therapy or oral contraceptives, pregnancy or post-partum, previous or current cancer, limb trauma, and obesity.

Patients should first speak with their primary physician about treatment options. Early in treatment, blood thinners are given to keep the clot from growing or breaking. If pain continues beyond seven days, patients should request a referral to an AMI Interventional Radiologist who will determine if catheter-directed thrombolysis treatment is required to prevent permanent leg damage.

Click on the treatment options below to learn more:

Catheter-directed Thrombolysis
Vena Cava Filters (IVC) 

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

What is PAD?

PAD is a narrowing or hardening of the peripheral arteries, most commonly in the legs. A buildup of plaque restricts blood flow and causes leg pain, usually during physical activity. If the walls of the arteries become stiff, they cannot dilate to allow greater blood flow when needed. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing exercise and a healthier diet can improve symptoms.

PAD Symptoms:

• Pain in either leg while walking
• Pain in one or both calves
• If stopping or slowing down eases the pain
• Legs that feel cool to the touch
• Sores on the feet or ankles that won’t heal

You may be at higher risk for PAD if you…

…have a history of smoking
…have diabetes
…have high cholesterol
…have hypertension
…are over 55 years old


A vascular interventional radiologist performs a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure to relieve pain. A common treatment, known as an angioplasty, uses a tiny balloon to open the blockage. A stent can then be placed to keep the artery open and the patient will be started on medications to help blood flow.

Learn more about your individualized treatment plan by requesting an appointment with our vascular interventional team. Call our scheduling team at 402-484-6677 or use the appointment request form below.

Varicose Veins (Heavy, aching, swelling)
Pain can be constant and includes visibly swollen veins.

Most varicose veins happen in the legs and feet and can be attributed to venous insufficiency. This common condition results from blood pooling in the veins due to decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart. In healthy veins, one-way valves keep blood flowing toward the heart against the force of gravity. When the valves become weak and do not close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux. Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness, become elongated, rope-like, bulged, and thickened. These enlarged, swollen vessels are known as varicose veins and are a direct result of increased pressure from reflux. Spider veins are a mild case of varicose vein where small veins become apparent just under the skin.

All of AMI’s treatments rid the legs of problem veins through a non-invasive procedures that utilizes the body’s natural healing abilities. This means patients will be back to looking and feeling good faster.

Click on the treatment options below to learn more:

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

May-Thurner Syndrome
May-Thurner Syndrome, sometimes referred to as iliac compression syndrome, is a condition named after R. May and J. Thurner, the first to document this disorder in 1957. This syndrome is hereditary, during which the left common iliac vein narrows due to pressure from the nearby artery. This tightening of the affected vein from the pressure of artery above increases the likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be deadly if left untreated. Advanced Vein & Interventional providers are experts in the proper detection and diagnosis of this syndrome.
**Some information sourced from the Society of Interventional Radiology