Edema (leg swelling)

Swelling of the legs is abnormal and should be evaluated by a physician if it occurs more than. Pain or tenderness in the legs associated with swelling is an especially important reason to seek evaluation. Examination by ultrasound is essential in such cases. Failure of diagnosis occurs due to a venous ultrasound study which is performed in a manner to rule out clots (deep vein thrombosis) in the deep veins of the legs and does not evaluate for venous insufficiency. It is common for patients with chronic leg swelling to be told that the ultrasound is “normal” or “was negative” while failing to test for venous reflux disease.