Information for Patients
Leg Injuries and Disorders
Your legs are made up of bones, blood vessels, muscles, and other connective tissue. They are important for motion and standing. Playing sports, running, falling, or having an accident can damage your legs. Common leg injuries include sprains and strains, joint dislocations, and fractures.
These injuries can affect the entire leg, or just the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. Certain diseases also lead to leg problems. For example, knee osteoarthritis, common in older people, can cause pain and limited motion. Problems in your veins in your legs can lead to varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis.
Pain is a signal in your nervous system that something may be wrong. It is an unpleasant feeling, such as a prick, tingle, sting, burn, or ache. Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, such as your back, abdomen, chest, pelvis, or you may feel pain all over.
Pain can be helpful in diagnosing a problem. If you never felt pain, you might seriously hurt yourself without knowing it, or you might not realize you have a medical problem that needs treatment.
There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain usually comes on suddenly, because of a disease, injury, or inflammation. It can often be diagnosed and treated. It usually goes away, though sometimes it can turn into chronic pain. Chronic pain lasts for a long time, and can cause severe problems.
Pain is not always curable, but there are many ways to treat it. Treatment depends on the cause and type of pain. There are drug treatments, including pain relievers. There are also non-drug treatments, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke