Muscle Hernia or Varicose Veins?

Muscle herniations of the legs frequently are confused with varicose veins. Patients may present with bulging along the outer part of the shin, that looks like a varicose vein. It may or may not be painful. It goes away with flexing the foot (pointing your toes to your head).  But, to experienced vein care specialists, it is clearly a muscle herniation.

A Muscle herniation is a focal protrusion of muscle tissue through a defect in the deep fascial layer. Anterior tibial muscle is the most commonly affected muscle of the lower extremities because its fascia is the most vulnerable to trauma. Clinically it is characterized by asymptomatic or painful, skin-coloured, soft, subcutaneous nodules of various size depending on the position. The diagnosis is usually made clinically based on its typical manifestations, but ultrasonographic examination is useful for detecting the fascial defect and excluding other conditions caused by soft tissue tumours such as lipomas, angiolipomas, fibromas, schwannomas or varicosities.

Usually, surgical treatment is not needed, but may be necessary for increasingly painful hernias.

At La Jolla Vein Care, we frequently see muscle herniations that are confused with varicose veins. Using ultrasound technology and a clinical examination, we can make the accurate diagnosis.

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