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What causes pain and burning sensation in the leg?

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Posted on Tue, 12 May 2015
Question: What a great service, I hope. About 6 months ago I experienced a slight burning in my left leg - behind the knee, just once. Through the months, I've experienced it more often and for the past 4 days it has increased. Last night I got 4 hours of off-and-on sleep. I've tried elevating the leg, sleeping on the right side or left side, elevating it on a pillow, sitting with my leg flat - nothing seems to work for more than a few minutes. And, last night, i had the same twinge in my right leg. FYI - I broke my left leg, about 2" above the ankle 8 years ago but have had no problem since the cast came off 7.5 years ago. The ankle and leg don't bother me. I've had two TIAs this year - seven weeks apart (January and March) with no apparent residual effects. I have an appt with my internist on May 5, but am concerned that this may be connected to the TIAs. Comments are appreciated - XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (27 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Highly unlikely to be related to TIA's.

Detailed Answer:
Good morning. My name is Dr. Saghafi and I'm a neurologist in the XXXXXXX OH region of the world. I'd like to address your question about the burning sensation in your leg. I read your history of medical problems including the 2 TIA's you say were diagnosed as having. You didn't describe the symptoms nor how exactly the diagnosis was arrived at, however, what I can say is this much. A TIA by definition is the sudden loss of neurological function (loss of language ability, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg) in the brain due to a blood clot (usually) but which completely and fully returns to normal within about 24 hrs. Most of the time near normal to normal function returns in 60 min. or less. If function to the brain does not return to absolutely normal within this time frame then, the patient is said to have suffered a stroke.

Therefore, if what you were diagnosed with were TIA's then, by definition the pain in the leg of a burning sensation or quality CANNOT BE RELATED OR A RESIDUAL of those events. The fact that you've been experiencing this burning pain in the left leg and behind the knee again underscores how it CANNOT BE RELATED or be caused the TIA.

You will need a good thorough examination of the leg, its nerves that supply the area you are having trouble with and also your lower back may be involved. I would suggest that you consider going to a neurologist for this problem if it is felt that the pain could be coming from the lower back in any way. I would also recommend that a thorough laboratory evaluation be performed looking at things such as your thyroid function, your blood counts, serum electrolytes, liver and kidney function parameters, serum Vit. D, D2, and D3 as well as B12 and folate levels which can be low and cause problems similar to what you're describing.

If on the other hand the feeling is that the pain in the leg and knee are coming from the leg itself then, issues such as circulation or other conditions such as arthritis, leg muscle or tendon strains, or even things such as Baker's Cysts (commonly found behind the knee which can be painful) will need consideration. Those are more orthopedic and vascular issues and I'm sure your internist will direct you properly to the correct specialist if necessary.

If this answer satisfactorily addresses your question then, I'd appreciate the favor of a HIGH STAR RATING with some written feedback on your part.

Also, CLOSING THE QUERY on your end (if there are no further comments) will be most helpful and appreciated so that this question can be transacted and archived expeditiously for further reference by colleagues as necessary.

Please keep me informed as to the outcome of your situation by writing me at: bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi

All the best

The query has required a total of 20 minutes of physician specific time to read, research, and compile a return envoy to the patient.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2473 Questions

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What causes pain and burning sensation in the leg?

Brief Answer: Highly unlikely to be related to TIA's. Detailed Answer: Good morning. My name is Dr. Saghafi and I'm a neurologist in the XXXXXXX OH region of the world. I'd like to address your question about the burning sensation in your leg. I read your history of medical problems including the 2 TIA's you say were diagnosed as having. You didn't describe the symptoms nor how exactly the diagnosis was arrived at, however, what I can say is this much. A TIA by definition is the sudden loss of neurological function (loss of language ability, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg) in the brain due to a blood clot (usually) but which completely and fully returns to normal within about 24 hrs. Most of the time near normal to normal function returns in 60 min. or less. If function to the brain does not return to absolutely normal within this time frame then, the patient is said to have suffered a stroke. Therefore, if what you were diagnosed with were TIA's then, by definition the pain in the leg of a burning sensation or quality CANNOT BE RELATED OR A RESIDUAL of those events. The fact that you've been experiencing this burning pain in the left leg and behind the knee again underscores how it CANNOT BE RELATED or be caused the TIA. You will need a good thorough examination of the leg, its nerves that supply the area you are having trouble with and also your lower back may be involved. I would suggest that you consider going to a neurologist for this problem if it is felt that the pain could be coming from the lower back in any way. I would also recommend that a thorough laboratory evaluation be performed looking at things such as your thyroid function, your blood counts, serum electrolytes, liver and kidney function parameters, serum Vit. D, D2, and D3 as well as B12 and folate levels which can be low and cause problems similar to what you're describing. If on the other hand the feeling is that the pain in the leg and knee are coming from the leg itself then, issues such as circulation or other conditions such as arthritis, leg muscle or tendon strains, or even things such as Baker's Cysts (commonly found behind the knee which can be painful) will need consideration. Those are more orthopedic and vascular issues and I'm sure your internist will direct you properly to the correct specialist if necessary. If this answer satisfactorily addresses your question then, I'd appreciate the favor of a HIGH STAR RATING with some written feedback on your part. Also, CLOSING THE QUERY on your end (if there are no further comments) will be most helpful and appreciated so that this question can be transacted and archived expeditiously for further reference by colleagues as necessary. Please keep me informed as to the outcome of your situation by writing me at: bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi All the best The query has required a total of 20 minutes of physician specific time to read, research, and compile a return envoy to the patient.