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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Medical Doctor Trained at a Top Academic Institution
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I am an RN. My neighbor has purplish color feet, cool to the

Customer Question

Hi, I am an RN. My neighbor has purplish color feet, cool to the touch and the cap refill is greater than 5 seconds in all toes, no edema or pain, intermittent numbness (mostly in the R foot).. She has no cardiac history. R foot is worse looking and feels cooler than L foot, but, both feet are purplish color. She mentioned that she was in a MVA quite a few years ago and injured the R leg from the knee and below. She has good color - other than the feet, pulses- upper extremities and knees; pulses palpable and WNL. She saw her cardiologist and there is no arterial vessel deficiency. I realize I cannot say so much as I am not an MD. Maybe a venous occlusion in the small vessels in the feet? Do you think knee high ted hose would help....on 12h off 12h? She also went to a Podiatrist- nobody as answer, per neighbor. She is in her 70's but takes very good care of herself- eats well and goes to the gym 3x/wk. Thoughts please. Thank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.


Blocked veins would cause swelling.

If she has swelling, I suggest venous dopplers before ted hose are used, to rule out clotting in the veins.

If there is no venous insufficiency and given the coolness, then this is something else..maybe small vessel disease, maybe a neurologic response from disease in the lower spine, also possible.

In that case, I would suggest an EMG/NCS test.

An MD of physical medicine and rehabilitation would be an excellent hands on evaluation at this point.

One must also consider autoimmune disease, such as lupus, or RA which can give this picture.

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Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.

Not likely to be clots.

Do you have a pic?