Popliteal Aneurysm Treatment

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Pain in your foot or behind your knee? Swelling in your leg? Ulcers on your feet that don't heal? These could be signs of a popliteal aneurysm. A popliteal aneurysm can burst. That can cause life-threatening, uncontrolled bleeding. The aneurysm may also cause a blood clot, which might lead to a leg amputation.

A popliteal aneurysm is a bulge and weakness in the wall of the popliteal artery, which sends blood to your knee joint, thigh, and calf.

Popliteal Aneurysm Treatment at UVA Health

We can check you for a popliteal aneurysm using:

  • Ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Angiography

You'll likely need surgery to treat your popliteal aneurysm. Your surgeon will usually make a new route around the aneurysm on your artery (bypass).

It's important for you to carefully control your high blood pressure with medicine if needed.

What Causes a Popliteal Aneurysm?

We don't know the exact cause of popliteal aneurysms. Atherosclerosis may play a role. Injury of the artery may also cause a popliteal aneurysm.

How Likely Am I to Get a Popliteal Aneurysm?

You may be more likely to get one if you:

  • Have high cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Have a bacterial infection
  • Have had blood-vessel reconstruction in one or both legs