Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) occurs when blood supply through an artery is blocked. The condition most often occurs in leg arteries, where plaque or fatty deposits obstruct the smooth flow of blood. Due to the reduced supply of blood, the muscles in the legs could not get their adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients. As a result, you can experience pain especially during climbing the staircases, exercising, running or walking. This is due to a lack of blood supply to the leg muscles. When the disease progresses, you may experience pain even at rest. In extreme cases, there could be a complete blockage of blood as the tissue may not get any oxygen and nutrients, resulting in tissue death.
Besides leg, you may also feel pain in:
- Buttock and hip
Calf pain is the most common symptom of PAD. Other signs and symptoms of PAD include:
- Tingling sensation in legs
- Pain in calf
- Numbness of feet
- Loss of hair on legs
- Change in leg skin and toenail color
- Ulcers on feet that do not heal easily
- Leg weakness and fatigue
- Erectile dysfunction in men
These symptoms may not be present in all individuals. PAD is a condition that can go unnoticed until you start suddenly experiencing symptoms. These symptoms often lead to reduced mobility, intermittent pain and overall poor quality of life. Though the disease is more common among older males, women are also at risk of developing PAD.
PAD and Mobility Issues
Some of the common symptoms of PAD can make it very difficult to do simple activities. Many people that struggle with PAD find it hard to put on their shoes or get in and out of the car swiftly. Although these issues may not be a huge inconvenience, over time, the symptoms and pain will only get worse, making it more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should consult with a specialist as soon as your PAD symptoms significantly affect your ability to walk.
Risk factors of PAD:
- Diabetes and/or high cholesterol
- High blood pressure
In order to diagnosed PAD, you will have to meet with a vascular specialist or interventional radiologist. They will administer an MRI to visibly see the affected area that will be treated. There are other, less expensive methods of diagnosing PAD like Ankle-Bronchial Index test. This test compares the blood pressure of the arm to the ankle to ensure consistent blood flow throughout the body.
Although PAD may not always cause symptoms, we encourage you to consult with a specialist if you know you are at higher risk.
Non-surgical PAD treatment
At USA Vascular Centers, we specialize in a non-surgical PAD treatment called balloon stent angioplasty. This treatment is commonly used to restore the flow of blood to blocked arteries. This procedure is fast, virtually painless, and minimally-invasive and highly effective. PAD treatment is eligible for insurance coverage from most providers, meaning there is no better time than now to find relief. There is hardly any blood loss during the entire PAD procedure. It has quick recovery time, and you will be able to return to your normal routine within a week.
If you are suffering from the painful symptoms of PAD, give us a call today to see how we can help you. We have locations nationwide and a team of dedicated vein experts who are committed to helping patients regain control of their life and mobility. If you have any questions regarding treatment, or if you want to verify your insurance coverage before you schedule, just give us a call at 888.773.2193.