If you are experiencing severe leg pain as the consequence of an injury, such as a cut, a bruise, a sprained ankle or knee, the decision to see a doctor should be based on the type of the injury – any bleeding caused by a wound, any swelling and bruising caused by a sprain and any suspicion of a broken bone requires immediate treatment. However, leg pain might appear without any obvious reason, which could be a sign of an underlying health issue that might need more extensive testing and medical treatment based on the findings of the investigations. Here are some signs that your leg pain needs the attention of a specialist and some of the health problems that could manifest in the form of leg pain.
Leg Injury That Needs Treatment
Even the smallest, seemingly insignificant leg injury, such a cut or an insect bite, can become more serious if left untreated. Here are the most common signs of leg injury that should send you to the emergency department:
- An obvious, large cut that causes bleeding or that is deep enough to expose the bone or the tendon;
- Smaller cuts that become red, swollen or fail to heal;
- Insect bites that cause swelling and redness;
- A severe bruise that makes walking difficult;
- The inability to stand or walk on the leg as the result of a slip or a fall.
Underlying Health Issues That Might Have Leg Pain as a Symptom
Many health problems that affect the blood flow to the legs can manifest in the form of leg pain, the most common examples being deep vein thrombosis and the peripheral artery disease. The leg pain associated with these issues is usually accompanied by other symptoms as well:
- Swelling in the area where the pain is felt as well as around that area;
- Weakness, numbness and tingling in the affected limb, often causing imbalance and leading to falls;
- A change in the color of the limb – the symptom is caused by compromised blood flow and might affect a smaller or larger part of the leg. In some cases, the leg turns red, white, blue or purple, while in other, usually more severe cases, the leg or a part of it, such as one or multiple toes, might turn black, which is a sign of completely severed blood flow and usually requires the amputation of the affected digit or digits.
The most common risk factors that can lead to the blockages in circulation that cause the above symptom are peripheral artery disease and diabetes. The two conditions are usually linked – diabetes affects the flexibility of the small and large blood vessels in the body and it is usually associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol and calcium levels, all of them conditions that can lead to the formation of deposits on the blood vessels. When those deposits become substantial enough to limit blood flow, the affected limb reacts with the symptoms above, warranting an instant visit to a treatment for leg pain Fort Collins doctor.