Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a problem where the circulation in your legs suffers because of a narrowing of the arteries. PAD can cause serious complications like leg ulcers and even amputation, but the expert podiatrists at Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center in Davis, Carmichael and Sacramento, California, have the skills and experience to prevent such complications and help you recover. Call Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center today to find out more or book an appointment online.
Peripheral arterial disease or PAD is a circulatory condition that arises because of a narrowing of your arteries. It commonly affects your legs, where blood has to work hardest to circulate properly.
Arteries are the blood vessels that carry freshly oxygenated blood from your heart around your body. Conditions like peripheral arterial disease, and atherosclerosis cause plaque to build up inside your arteries, where it sticks to the artery walls and cause narrowing.
This narrowing effect reduces the flow of blood around your body and therefore deprives your body of the amount of oxygen it needs to run as it should.
Peripheral arterial disease is one of the causes of leg ulcers, open sores that are very hard to heal. People who have diabetes are more likely to develop peripheral arterial disease, as well as diabetic neuropathy, which together significantly increases your risk of developing leg ulcers.
Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center podiatrists specialize in wound care for leg ulcers and lead the field in providing treatments that prevent amputation.
People often have peripheral arterial disease without knowing it, as the symptoms might be mild or even non-existent, to begin with. If peripheral arterial disease is causing symptoms, the chief one is claudication. This causes pain and leg cramps when you walk, which eases off if you rest.
Peripheral arterial disease can affect any part of your leg, but the place it most often strikes is the calf. If pain is severe, peripheral arterial disease can make walking difficult.
You might experience pain in your legs, thighs, and buttocks, and in your feet or toes when you’re resting or sleeping.
Other peripheral arterial disease symptoms that can affect the feet and legs include:
You can undergo screening for peripheral arterial disease when you reach 65. If you have conditions that could result in an increased risk of complications, like diabetes, or you’re a smoker, then screening is advisable from age 50.
Your podiatrist at Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center can diagnose peripheral arterial disease using Doppler ultrasound.
Changing bad lifestyle habits is vital if you have peripheral arterial disease. If your condition is mild, these changes might be the only treatment you need. Other potential treatments include:
In some cases, you might require surgery to widen your arteries, for example, balloon angioplasty.
To arrange a screening test for peripheral arterial disease or discuss any symptoms you’re experiencing, call Sacramento Foot and Ankle Center today or book an appointment online.