LUBBOCK, Texas — Mike Mitchell, a Lubbock resident, is feeling some much needed relief after dealing with leg pain for several weeks.

Mitchell thought he pulled a muscle, but it turned out to be much worse. He said his doctor told him that he had a blocked artery in his leg.

“Back in January I started experiencing leg pain,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell is diabetic, and had undergone surgery in his other leg the year prior. He said when he first started experiencing the pain, he ignored it for several weeks.

“Thinking it was a pulled muscle, pulled calf muscle–after about two, three weeks of that, I realized it was probably something else and then I came to see Dr. Levine,” Mitchell said.

Dr. Marc Levine, Medical Director of Cardiology Associates of Covenant Cardiology, told him he had a blockage in his leg. He tried to treat it with medication and exercise, but after a few weeks, Mitchell still wasn’t getting any relief.

“I was having trouble walking half a block without getting into terrible pain,” Mitchell said.

When he went back to Levine, he told him Mitchell would have to undergo surgery.

“We actually go in with–I use the late term– a roto rooter,” Levine said. “I mean we go in with a special device that actually cuts out plaque and reestablishes a channel in the blood vessel and then we use a very special balloon that’s coated with a special medicine on it to help prevent the artery from re-narrowing.”

Mitchell, who is a very active man, was able to leave the hospital the same day, and felt instant relief.

“There’s been 100 percent improvement,” Mitchell said.

Levine said if Mitchell hadn’t gone to the doctor, there could have been a complete lack of blood flow, and could have led to a possible amputation of his leg–and eye opening realization.

“It’s not a bad thing to go see a doctor–even on a routine basis because they’re the ones who are gonna catch these things early,” Mitchell said.

Levine addressed people who may be wary of going to their doctor for fear of risk. He said physicians do not immediately suggest surgery, they will suggest other options until a procedure is absolutely necessary.