Peripheral Arterial Disease
Arteries carry blood, rich in oxygen and nutrients, from your heart to your organs and limbs. When arteries in the legs become blocked or narrowed by plaque, blood flow is decreased. Less blood flow means less nutrients. More than eight million Americans suffer from this circulatory problem.
What is P.A.D.?
Our arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed but over time fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in blood build cause them to be blocked. These sticky substances are referred to as plaque. This plaque can eventually harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to parts of the body. We refer to this condition as peripheral arterial disease, or leg artery disease because it primarily affects the legs. P.A.D. may also reduce crucial blood flow to the heart and brain.
What Are The Causes?
Much like a sink can become clogged by debris, arteries can be clogged by fatty deposits. This build up of plaque is known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis generally affects the heart but when it occurs in the arteries that supply blood to the limbs it is called peripheral artery disease. Decreased blood flow to the legs can also be caused by blood vessel inflammation, injury to the legs, unusual ligament or muscle structure, and even exposure to radiation.
Other factors that increase the likelihood of developing this disease include:
What are the Symptoms?
Many people with P.A.D. have mild to no symptoms, while others experience cramping, pain, numbness, or tiredness while walking or climbing stairs. With the progression of this condition, individuals may also experience coldness in the feet or toes, sores that won’t heal, hair loss or slower hair growth on the feet, slower growth of the toenails, and weak pulse.
Symptoms are typically present during or directly after activity but as the condition worsens they may even occur during times of rest. If you have leg pain, numbness, or experience any of the symptoms above contact the Aadvanced Foot Care Associates of New York today!
With this disease comes many other risk factors. The plaque that builds up in the arteries may crack and cause blood clots. Blood clots can cause permanent tissue damage, gangrene, and even death. If you have P.A.D you are at risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart attack.
We want you to live a long, healthy, and fruitful life. This disease is serious, but it is also treatable.
How is it Treated?
Early detection is the key to successful management of PAD. At Aadvanced Foot Care we have the latest diagnostic tools and can test for both PAD and Venous disease pain free.
PAD can often be treated by simple lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a healthy diet. Quit any use of tobacco products and walk at least 30 minutes a day to improve symptoms. Your podiatrist may prescribe medication to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood clotting. We are also affiliated with the top vascular specialists in New York. If we detect you may have a more serious problem, we will refer you to the proper specialist.
With more severe cases, angioplasty or other surgical procedures may be necessary.
- Angioplasty reopens the arteries and flattens the fatty deposits on the artery walls. Stretching of the artery increases blood flow. A stent may be inserted to keep the artery open. Angioplasties are also used to open heart arteries.
- Bypass surgery allows blood to flow around the blocked artery. A graft is created using vessels from other areas of your body or synthetic fiber.
- Thrombolytic therapy is an injection of clot-dissolving drugs into the affected artery. This breaks up clots and plaques and increases blood flow.
The best thing you can do for yourself is maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our board certified podiatrists care about your health. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, schedule an appointment today! Choose between one of our three offices in New York. Call (718) 896-4433, (516) 822-9595 or (718) 969-2266 to speak with a friendly member of our staff. Appointments can also be made online.