Venous insufficiency is a condition where veins cannot adequately transfer blood from the legs back up to the heart. Inside the veins are valves that operate like flaps, directing the flow of blood toward the heart. When the valves become damaged, circulatory problems develop ranging from spider veins to varicose veins, and blood clots to skin ulcers.
Common symptoms of venous insufficiency aching or throbbing in the legs include swelling and discomfort, skin discoloration, skin thickening, spider veins at the ankles, and leg ulcers.
Diagnostic ultrasound measuring the vein diameter and the amount of pooling (reflux) and venograms (X-ray exam with contrast dye) may be used to examine the veins for signs of disease.