Chad remembers looking down at his feet while standing at the stove waiting for a pot of water to boil and thinking they looked a little blue. It was almost wintertime in the northeast. He had wanted to get a rug for this area of the kitchen to keep the floor warm this winter, but he just hadn’t had the time. However, his feet weren’t just cold—they were blue. He wondered if there was a deeper issue.
If your feet are blue or discolored, there is a possibility they are not getting the oxygenated blood flow that they need. Blue, discolored feet can be a sign of a vascular condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Peripheral artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in the arterial walls, which not only hardens the arteries, but also prevents blood from flowing freely to the limbs. As the arteries are the blood vessels that carry clean, oxygenated blood to the limbs, this restricted blood flow primarily causes problems in the lower extremities. While many people with PAD have mild or no symptoms, some people present with symptoms that affect mobility and quality of life, such as:
- Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs
- Leg heaviness or fatigue
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Leg pain that wakes you in the night
It’s important to take steps to finding out if you have PAD and getting the right treatment for vascular disease. PAD interferes with blood circulation; if the symptoms are left untreated, they can lead to heart stroke, gangrene, or limb amputation.
Treatment for PAD doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t necessarily require a hospital stay. USA Vascular Centers offers a minimally invasive, non-surgical outpatient procedure for PAD called stent angioplasty. During stent angioplasty, a catheter implants a mesh stent that is wrapped around a tiny balloon into the diseased artery. The balloon inflates, expanding the stent against the arterial walls and compressing the plaque. This allows for the blood to flow unimpeded to the limbs once again.
If you have noticed your feet are cold and blue and think you may have other symptoms on PAD, call USA Vascular Centers at (888) 628-9389 to schedule a consultation with our vascular specialists who can determine if vascular treatment is right for you. Treatments at USA Vascular Centers are covered by Medicare, most insurance plans, and Medicaid.