May-Thurner Syndrome

May-Thurner Syndrome

Share This Post

What is May-Thurner Syndrome


May-Thurner syndrome is a condition that involves your right iliac artery, which carries blood to your right leg.  And the left iliac vein, which returns blood from your left leg toward your heart.

Other terms for this disorder are “Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome” and “Cockett’s Syndrome”.  It is important to understand what causes May-Thurner Syndrome because, although it is not always a medical concern, it can be linked to the development of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Patients who suffer from May-Thurner syndrome have an anatomical irregularity that causes the right iliac artery to squeeze the left iliac vein as they cross each other in the pelvis.  As a result, the increased pressure constricts the flow of blood through the left iliac vein, much like stepping on a garden hose.

May-Thurner syndrome is slightly more common in women and people assigned female at birth.  It’s also more common in adults ages 20 to 50.

What are the symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome?

Many people don’t have any symptoms of May-Thurner syndrome, especially if they don’t have DVT.  Symptoms usually only affect your left leg and may include:

  • Feelings of heaviness.
  • Open sores (ulcers).
  • Pain.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Swelling.
  • Varicose veins.

What causes May-Thurner Syndrome?

It’s important to note that blood vessel crossover in the body is common and perfectly normal.  Problems only arise when they are positioned in a way that causes the right iliac artery to press the left iliac vein against the spine.  You’re at greater risk of developing May-Thurner syndrome if you:

  • Are female
  • Have scoliosis
  • Had one or more pregnancies
  • Take oral contraception pills
  • Have a blood clotting disorder
  • Sit for long periods of time

Your physician will perform a physical exam to assess and detect any symptoms and possible complications of DVT.  Next, they will look inside your circulatory system using various imaging devices, including ultrasound.

If no blood clots are detected and your May-Thurner’s syndrome is diagnosed as mild, it can be managed by following a healthy lifestyle and wearing compression stockings.  These are tight garments that typically extend from your toes to the knee.  They put gradual pressure on your lower legs, helping to ease swelling and promote improved blood flow.

Are you suffering from this condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track.  Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team




Check our latest blog about Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Read our article about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Read our article about Compartment Syndrome

More To Explore

walking barefoot

Why You Shouldn’t Walk Around Barefoot

Why You Shouldn’t Walk Around Barefoot   Going barefoot feels great, whether you’re at the beach wiggling your toes in the sand or strolling on

Chiropodist Chelsea SW10

Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.