Deep Venous Insufficiency
In this disorder, the valves in the deep veins inside the muscles of the legs do not function normally. This causes blood to pool in the calves and ankles. It can cause severe swelling and skin discoloration. Patients complain of heaviness and aching, and the disorder can eventually lead to ulceration of the skin at the ankle -- a condition called venous stasis disease which necessitates ongoing dressing changes, compression, and, sometimes, surgical intervention. There is no specific treatment for deep venous insufficiency although it's usually treated using prescribed compression hosiery so that the blood return in the deeper veins in the legs is augmented by external compression. A careful history of this problem and diagnostic tests are of the utmost importance as this disease can be a manifestation of a more serious condition.