A leg aneurysm typically forms in the popliteal artery. It is important to note that an aneurysm is described as a protruding segment in an artery due to the thinning and weakening of its wall.
In most cases, there are no symptoms especially if the leg aneurysm is small. If symptoms manifest, they arise since the aneurysm is crushing the adjacent structures or a blood clot formed in the widened artery.
Usual signs of a leg aneurysm
A painless pulsating mass might be detected by the doctor. The pulsation in the mass might feel strange to the doctor due to the trivial vibration brought about by the turbulent flow of blood in the aneurysm. This can be confirmed by using a stethoscope which frequently generates as a swoosh-like sound known as a bruit.
Leg discomfort and abnormal sensations
The presence of a leg aneurysm that crushes a neighboring nerve can trigger numbness, tingling, burning sensation or shooting leg pain. These usually stem from the site near the aneurysm and spread downwards.
The weakness of the muscle might also be present due to the crushing of the motor nerves. In some cases, bone pain can arise if the aneurysm is big enough to crush the adjacent leg bones, but this is considered uncommon.
Take note that leg pain might also manifest if a blood clot develops inside the aneurysm. This disrupts with the blood supply to the area beyond the clot.
Discoloration and swelling
If a large artery is affected, the aneurysm can place pressure on the adjacent veins. This results to the accumulation of blood due to the partly blocked outflow. As an outcome, swelling of the leg occurs, beneath the site of the aneurysm.
If there is serious obstruction in the arterial blood flow into the leg due to a clot, the skin turns unusually bluish or pale. In some cases, small pieces of the clot in the aneurysm break away and embed in the small arteries of the toes or feet, resulting to a localized bluish or purplish discoloration.