Hey, folks... As you might know, I'm having my wonky left leg checked out by a vascular surgeon. Basically the PCP thinks that I have 'venous insufficiency' in that leg.
Well, I had wondered if my MS and the circulation problems in my left leg were related. Turns out that many MS patients have extra-cranial or extra-spinal vessel stenosis. In other words, the blood vessels leading to areas that have lesions are usually closed up.
MS causes so many problems--I wouldn't doubt for a second that the circulation problems in your leg is related to MS. My sister's first MS attack came on suddenly with foot drop and a fall as a result about four years ago. Ever since, she's not been able to move her left foot much and is in much pain. She has some weird symptoms on her left side--especially in regards to her left foot and leg. When she places her foot down (she can't bear much weight on the foot), her foot, ankle, and part of her leg above her ankle, turns black.
Prior to the accident however, my sister had some very odd symptoms that had to do with body temperature and cardiac arrythmia. She went to see a cardiologist who diagnosed something related to posture--I wished I could remember what it was . . .
Anyway, years later, her neuro says that this can be related to her MS--all of it--her black drop-foot, the cardiac arrythmia problems, etc. My sister has brain stem lesions. I don't know if this helps any, but she does have circulation problems and her neuro thinks the MS is related to it.
I would also be interested to hear if anyone else has circulatory problems. I don't have the black drop foot, but I do have cardiac arrythmia, cold white legs, vericose and spider veins.
This is very interesting as I have had circulation problems in my legs, left leg more than the right for the last few years. I wondered if it was related to menopause but the problems have coincided with an increase in my MS sx too.
I thought about mentioning it to the neuro but thought he might say no it's because you need to lose weight (sorry previous bad experiences).
Both ankles swell, the left more than the right and the left side is where I have my main issues. The foot goes some very strange colours, not black but purple. The Raynauds syndrome that I get in my toes is now happening to the whole heel when I get cold.
I have a friend of mine with brainstem lesions, and she has postural orthostatic tachycardia. She used to pass out when she stood up too quickly. It's gotten better - she can sing again without passing out - but occasionally relapses.
This recent research is interesting, but it's hard to tell what caused what. The age-old chicken and the egg question. Did the venous insufficiency cause the blood to back up, leaking back into the CSF, breaking the blood-brain barrier, and allowing antibodies to attack the myelin? Or did the formation of the lesion cause the veins to close up?
The authors of the article at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2647682&blobtype=pdf think there needs to be more research on the chicken-and-egg question, but believe there is evidence that suggests that the CCVSI might cause MS. One point they make is that
"[I]f vessel abnormalities were due to an inflammatory-autoimmune disease, they would be less frequent in patients treated with immunomodulating/immunosuppressant agents. On the contrary, our analysis in the RR-SP group did not demonstrate an increased number of extracranial venous stenosing lesions in untreated as compared with treated patients" (398).
Patientx also pointed out that Zamboni (the lead researcher) has treated a number of MS patients to open up their stenosis and preliminary results are expected in September. It will be interesting to see what come of this.
PS So far as I know, I don't have any circulatory disorders.
I had a similar situation with my left shoulder, years and years ago - probably about twelve years, now. I had some real pain and swelling, and when the swelling came down, I had some visible veins at the hollow between my shoulder and my sternum. Similar to the ones in my leg, actually.
Hey, Shoshin! There's a lot of people out there who think that the blood reflux thing is responsible for the lesions... wouldn't that be interesting? What I have to wonder, though, is why the reflux happens. If it is responsible for MS, then why doesn't everybody have MS? I think there's some susceptibility to circulation problems in the individual. The immune-suppressant drugs are merely addressing the immune reaction problem, which I think is only one small part of the puzzle. What I want to know is why axons are severed in the first place, and if it's the result of the venous reflux.
I have had the same problem in my left leg for around 8 years. It comes and goes. I appreciate the information you folks have put up. I didnt mention it to my doc because I figured it may have something to do with MS and didnt feel like being a burden. As for the gal above who said something to the extent of being overweight, I would say that has nothing to do with it. I am lean and have it so dont fret about weight.....
I have recently been dignosed with MS and I too have venous insufficiency in my left leg and foot. My leg turns blue and so does my foot. The only time the color is normal is when I elevate my leg. I also have swelling in my foot and ankle. I have not started MS treatment yet. I have an appointment with a vascular doctor affiliated with Georgetown University to investigate CCSVI. I remember as a teen I had would feel lightheaded upon standing and I also suffered from tacycardia. I was diagnosed at 17 with mitral valve prolaspe. I am very anxious to investigate the possibility of CCSVI.
Diagnosed with ms 10 years ago. Recently had baclofen pump implant but still having lots of problems with left foot--toes curl, weird shades of blue and purple. I also have a big bruised area around my right ankle. I haven't mentioned to my neuro--I don't want to be burshed off as just another ms symptom to add to my list. I also get very dizzy when I first stand up from sitting--kinda thought that was medication related, but now not so sure. Any suggestions for initiating referral to vascular doc?
I have the weird shades of blue and purple, feet even go to the purple black colour sometimes. My hands dont, though tips do go purple to light blue. I went and had ultra sounds done on my entire body, they could see it as plain as day, great pictures but found absolutely no structural explanation in my veins or arteries. It was normal, no internal varicose veins even, simply nothing, so i'm still no wiser lol.
For about a year, i now get engorged veins bulging in my arms to hands, ancles to feet. It hurts, tightening pressure feeling but as i said yes its happening but they can't find a medical explanation for it. The only thing really left in my situation is automatic dysfunction probably due to the holes in my brain, nothing really left lol.
I had a lot of blown supperficial veins in the summer, a bright blue splodges would turn up in strange places, between fingers, under my foot, below and half my ancle etc eventually they turned green to yellow and then disapeared. Its all inter related but the answer is beyond me, sorry!
It could be an obscure MS thing, I simply dont know but the doc's and you wont know unless you tell them or show them, i didn't get my doctors attention until i took pictures. If you can take some pictures it should help where words may not. Oh I saw a told vascular guy and he was into the MS vascular connection and even he'd never seen this before lol.
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