Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when the venous wall and/or valves in the leg veins are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. CVI causes blood to “pool” or collect in these veins. This pooling is called stasis. (Cleveland Clinic).
Veins return blood to the heart from all body organs. Blood must flow upward from the veins in the legs in order to return to the heart. Muscles in the calves and feet must contract with each step to squeeze the veins that push blood upward. These veins contain one-way valves to keep the blood flowing up and preventing it from flowing back down. In individuals with chronic venous insufficiency, these valves become damaged and allow the blood to leak backward. Valve damage may occur as the result of aging, extended sitting or standing, or a combination of aging and reduced mobility. When the veins and valves are weakened, it can become difficulty for the blood to flow up to the heart and the blood pressure in the veins stays elevated for long periods of time, leading to CVI.
CVI most commonly occurs when there is a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs, which is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). CVI can also result from pelvic tumors and vascular malformations. It can result in swollen legs.
If untreated, the pressure and swelling in the legs increases until the capillaries burst. When this happens, the overlying skin takes on a reddish-brown color and is very sensitive to being broken if bumped or scratched.
Disability benefits for CVI will be granted if certain criteria are established by accepted medical sources. Specifically, there must be a diagnosis of chronic venous insufficiency of a lower extremity with incompetency or obstruction of the deep venous system and either A). extensive brawny edema involving at least two-thirds of the leg between the ankle and knee or the distal one-third of the lower extremity between the ankle and hip, or B). superficial varicosities, stasis dermatitis, and either recurrent ulceration or persistent ulceration that has not healed following at least 3 months of prescribed treatment.
Even if the medical records in your case do not establish the specified criteria above, it still may be possible to be found disabled by demonstrating that you are unable to work due to your symptoms. This will involve a focus on your activities of daily living and, at the hearing level will involve giving testimony about specific physical limitations owing to CVI.