An aneurysm is a weak area of a blood vessel that expands or bulges significantly. A patient may be diagnosed with a leg aneurysm when a weak spot forms within the blood vessels of the leg. There are two major types of leg aneurysms: a popliteal aneurysm, which affects the popliteal artery that provides the calf, knee and thigh with blood; and a femoral aneurysm, which affects the femoral artery that provides the thigh with blood. Patients who develop leg aneurysm symptoms should consult a doctor, as this condition can be life threatening if left untreated.
The majority of patients who develop leg arteries do not experience symptoms, explain medical professionals with the Merck Manual, an online medical encyclopedia. As a result, it can be challenging for a doctor to diagnose this condition in affected patients. Tobacco use and high blood pressure can increase a person's risk of developing a leg aneurysm. Patients who have these risk factors or a family history of aneurysms should discuss this condition with a medical professional.
Pain Behind or Below the Knee
Patients who develop a leg aneurysm can experience sensations of pain behind or below the knee. An aneurysm causes blood to build up within the weakened portion of the blood vessel, which can increase pressure within the leg. When the weakened artery swells, it can inflame surrounding cells and tissues, leading to sensations of pain in the leg. Patients who develop a popliteal aneurysm are more likely to experience pain behind the knee, while patients who develop a femoral aneurysm are more likely to experience pain below the knee, explain medical professionals with the University of Virginia Health System. The severity of leg pain due to a leg aneurysm can range from mild to severe and may contribute to foot pain. Consequently, patients with this condition may experience difficulty standing or walking about normally. Sudden or intense leg pain can be a sign of a ruptured leg aneurysm and requires immediate medical attention.
Groin or Leg Pulsations
A leg aneurysm can cause blood to accumulate within the affected leg. When this occurs, affected patients may feel an unusual pulsing sensation within the groin or at the back of the knee, warn medical experts with the University of Chicago Medical Center. This sensation can be felt when the patient places his hand over the affected body region. Patients who develop this leg aneurysm symptom should seek care from a physician.
Certain patients who develop a leg aneurysm can experience unusual fluid accumulation within the lower leg--a symptom referred to as edema, explain health professionals with the University of Virginia Health System. When fluid accumulates in the leg, the affected leg can appear unusually puffy or swollen. Affected patients may find it difficult to fit the swollen leg or foot into their normal shoes or may experience difficulty moving about as usual. Leg swelling can also be a sign of alternate medical problems, such as diabetes, and affected patients should speak with a doctor for additional guidance.