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Vascular Problems

Koehler’s Disease

Kohler’s disease or avascular necrosis is a rare condition where there is spontaneous loss of blood flow to a particular bone in the foot. This happens most often in children and teens. This can cause chronic dull pain. The largest complication is destruction or fracture of the bone. X-rays are usually required but occasionally a MRI or bone scan is required to diagnose this condition. Treatments often include casting, walking in a boot, orthotics, and avoidance of sports. Surgery is occasionally required in severe cases. Prompt medical attention is required.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease is a generic term for a group of circulatory problems of the legs. It is most commonly associated with peripheral arterial disease. This is a narrowing or blockage of the arteries caused by plaque. Smoking, diet, heredity is most closely associated with this problem. In severe cases can cause leg pain, cramping, and gangrene. Other common conditions include varicose veins and swelling. Ultrasound and pressure measurements if often necessary to evaluate the condition of the arteries and veins. Treatment of blockages often requires a referral to a vascular specialist.

Edema and Swelling

Edema or swelling of the legs is a common problem. As we age, veins and lymph vessels can malfunction causing swelling of the legs. Other conditions including heart, lung and kidney disease can also cause swelling. In any case fluid collects in the soft tissues of the legs. In chronic or long-term cases, the skin can change consistency or appearance. In severe cases ulcerations can occur. Rest, elevation, and compression are the most common treatments for edema. Ultrasound evaluation of the legs can be helpful if further treatment is required.


Lymph nodes and lymph vessels are an important part of circulation and the immune system. In some cases, these channels become blocked or congested leading to severe swelling of one or both legs. This can happen spontaneously and is common after surgery or an injury. Compression is a very important part of treatment. Pneumatic compression garments to massage the legs can be very helpful. Dr. Corey Blackburn has experience in treating some of the most difficult cases of lymphedema in the leg. Call to see what Prairie Foot & Ankle can do for you.

Venous Stasis

Venous stasis is a condition caused by leaking of the valves in the veins of the legs. Veins of the legs return blood from the legs to the heart. In order to resist gravity there are valves which keep the blood going up. In some cases, the valves leak and the blood pools in the legs and causes swelling. This can cause the formation of varicose veins which may or may not be painful. In chronic cases, this causes changes to the skin and possible ulceration. Treatment includes compression, wraps, or possible vein procedures to correct the problem.


 Raynaud’s disease is a vascular disorder characterized by discoloration, and pain of the toes and fingers. In the very small arteries of the toes there are small muscles which regulate blood flow. In Raynaud’s the muscles spasm and restrict blood flow. This often happens when exposed to cold. This happens more often in women. Treatment consists of keeping the feet and hands warm. Medications may also be helpful to relax the muscles.