A popliteal aneurysm develops in the popliteal artery. This artery is positioned at the rear part of the knee and transports blood from the thigh to the lower leg and feet. A diagnosis is vital to treat and prevent blockage and other potential complications.
An aneurysm involves ballooning or dilation of an artery or other type of blood vessel which causes the blood vessel wall to stretch and weaken.
Pain or discomfort
Even though a popliteal aneurysm does not generally trigger any discomfort, it can cause achiness or soreness in the site behind the knee.
The pain is evident when standing for extended periods of walking and exercise. The discomfort that arises during rest and inactivity is likely to manifest among individuals suffering from severe thrombosis or obstruction of the popliteal artery from an aneurysm.
Tingling and numbness
Tingling and numbness around the knee, foot and lower leg are indications of a popliteal aneurysm. This develops since the aneurysm disrupts with the flow of blood inside the artery and might grow rapidly that it crushes the nerves that move along the artery to the lower part of the leg and foot.
A popliteal aneurysm can result to poor circulation of blood in the lower part of the leg and foot. Around 8% of individuals with the condition suffer from a severe case of ischemia that leads to reduced oxygen and nutrient flow to the foot and lower leg, impaired wound healing, muscular weakness and bluish-tinged skin.
Remember that ischemia develops since blood clots form inside the popliteal aneurysm and clog the blood flow moving down the leg up to the foot. The clots might also detach and becomes an embolus that moves into other capillaries, arteries or veins where a blockage occurs.
Swelling or edema is brought about by an aneurysm from the poor flow of blood to the leg along with the crushing of the popliteal vein that travels in the same path in the artery.
This disrupts blood from moved from the inferior part of the leg to the foot and returned to the heart. It also elevates the possibility for the formation of varicose veins in the legs.