What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome, or RLS, is characterized by a nagging urge to move the legs usually because of an uncomfortable sensation.  The venules responsible for these feelings contain stagnant blood, which causes the legs to ache and move restlessly.  This condition can be worse at night and may be associated with severe leg cramps, most significantly in the calf muscles and foot.  Sclerotherapy, followed immediately by compression, is an effective treatment that eliminates the responsible veins and, subsequently, RLS.”

The relationship of Restless Leg Syndrome and minimal vein disease was not discovered until recently.  Unfortunately, the responsible veins have been considered to be only of cosmetic importance and so an effective treatment for this malady has been overlooked.   This condition can be worse at night and may be associated with severe leg cramps and nocturnal myoclonus.   Treatment of the most symptomatic veins in the legs usually produces dramatic relief.

Diagnosis of this disorder cannot be made with the traditional inspection of the standing patient because the weight of the skin and subcutaneous tissue obscures proper visualization.  Leg elevation permits better inspection and assessment of the condition.

*Kanter A., Resulution of “Restless Legs Syndrdome” After Sclerotherapy for Varicose Veins.  Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology.  17:1.p.93.1991.


Author: Alan H. Kanter, MD

Posted by Kelly Lorenzen

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