Millions of people in the United States suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is a narrowing of the arteries in the extremities and other areas of the body (excluding the heart and brain). PAD is most typically caused by an accumulation of fatty material in the arteries (atherosclerosis). PAD can restrict blood flow to the legs and feet where symptoms are often present, including: cold feet, a loss of hair on the legs and feet, skin that has a shiny appearance, toenails that are brittle or grow slowly, sores on the feet or legs that don’t heal, weakness in the legs, difficulty finding a pulse in the foot or leg, and more. It is important to be properly diagnosed and treated early to avoid more dangerous conditions from developing and to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms described, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Kenneth J. D'Ortone, DPM from Center for Foot and Ankle Excellence. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.
Symptoms of PAD include:
- Claudication (leg pain from walking)
- Numbness in legs
- Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
- Paleness of the skin
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
- Coldness in one leg
It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.
While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.
Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Philadelphia, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease