Medical Issue

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease is a common circulatory problem where narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to limbs, mainly the legs.

Symptoms

Symptoms include muscle pain or a cramping in the legs that's triggered by activity, but which disappear after a few minutes of rest. The skin on the legs may also become shinier and feel less thick. Although the location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery, calf pain in the back of the leg is the most likely symptom.

Risk Factors

Many of the same risk factors for heart disease also apply to peripheral artery disease.  Among them are smoking, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, age, and a family history of heart issues.

Causes

Peripheral artery disease is often caused by atherosclerosis, a type of heart disease that forms fatty deposits (plaques) in artery walls which can result in reduced blood flow. Atherosclerosis can and usually does affect arteries throughout the body. When atherosclerosis occurs in the arteries supplying blood to limbs, it causes peripheral artery disease. Other causes of peripheral artery disease may include blood vessel inflammation or injury to limbs.

Treatment

Treatment options for peripheral artery disease often begin by attempting to manage symptoms through lifestyle changes including emphasizing improved eating habits, losing weight and especially, quitting smoking.  If lifestyle changes alone are not effective, cholesterol-lowering medications, high blood pressure medications, and drugs and diabetes management programs are often prescribed.  If none of these are effective, angioplasty or surgery may be necessary to treat peripheral artery disease.

The Concierge Podiatry Advantage

At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues.  We have close working relationships with peripheral vascular specialists who offer innovative treatment that combines stents with laser to more effectively reduce the blockage.

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