Could Vein Management Be The Answer To Your Pain Management?
Venous disease affects about 20% of the U.S. population, about 40 million adults according to Dr. Joseph Magnant, founder of Vein Specialists. He says, “Venous disease is a medical condition like hypertension and high cholesterol.”
But the problem is, the majority of people suffering from venous disease don’t realize they have it. Those who are experiencing symptoms of leg discomfort often seek help from pain management professionals, dermatologists, and orthopedic surgeons rather than consider the possibility of vein disease as the cause.
Meet John Ganos
Take for instance John Ganos. He was undergoing orthopedic treatment for a number of problems with his legs, knees, and feet. He was in a lot of pain and thought things couldn’t get much worse. “Then I developed a burning in my right leg that did not seem to go away. It was new and different from all of the other pain,” says Ganos.
Looking for answers, Ganos went to a neurologist who was unable to identify any neurologic problems. Then his orthopedist suggested a visit to Dr. Magnant. “I had not even considered the fact that there might be an issue with my veins.”
When Dr. Magnant met Ganos, he remembers, “I wasn’t really sure what our chances were of helping him. His symptoms were not classic for vein problems.”
Ganos says, “I really didn’t see my veins protruding much, but apparently there was a problem.” He tried everything to get relief; medications, herbal remedies, but nothing worked. “My legs were heavy, they were dead, they were burning, and I was worried I would lose all use of them before much longer.”
Cause and Effect
An ultrasound performed by Vein Specialists revealed Ganos had leaky veins. Dr. Magnant later performed an endovenous ablation in which heat is used to seal the veins and stop the leaking. It worked.
“The effect was immediate,” says Ganos. “The pain from the burning went away. And after my veins were fixed, there was an improvement in circulation that I think has really helped to relieve many of my other symptoms.”
So many of Dr. Magnant’s patients come from orthopedists that he has coined the term “orthovenous disease.” He explains, “Many patients with venous disease are being assessed for knee or hip arthritis. In the process their physician often may notice varicose veins, swelling, or discoloration of the skin. If the x-rays don’t suggest an orthopedic cause of their leg symptoms, or even if they do have arthritis and vein disease, it may be appropriate to evaluate the venous side of the equation.” Taking care of venous issues, before or simultaneously to orthopedic treatments, can enhance healing, improve compliance with physical therapy and reduce perioperative risks such as wound complications or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
If you’re seeing a pain management or orthopedic physician and you have symptoms or signs (as noted above) of vein disease, Dr. Magnant says, “It’s reasonable to request a thorough vein evaluation as part of your workup.” He also recommends therapies such as compression stockings. “If a compression hose trial significantly improves their pain, it is a predictor of a good response to vein ablation therapy.”
Health and Healing
Venous disease is part of the total health and healing puzzle according to Dr. Magnant. He says, “Have an open mind and consider alternatives to the management of your leg pain. The opioid epidemic is real and if there is something we can do to fix the underlying problem without resorting to prescription pain meds, then it’s a win-win.”
Ganos says, “My legs feel so much better. I can get up easier and climb stairs. Dr. Magnant made a huge contribution in my attempt to regain functionality in my legs. Modern treatments are so advanced and it is so easy to fix venous disease. I recommend to anyone having problems they can’t fix, to look into it.”