Peripheral arterial disease simply means a decrease in blood flow to the legs and feet. This is caused by cholesterol plaque building up on the walls of the arteries limiting the amount of blood that can get to your legs. The further you get down the leg the smaller the arteries are-this is why people typically notice symptoms of this in their legs first. Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease are cramping in the legs, numbness or weakness in the legs, cold legs/feet, change in the color of your leg/foot with decreased hair growth, and even sores that do heal on the legs/feet.
You are at risk for PAD if you are:
-Over the age of 50.
-Smoke or have a history of smoking
-Have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
-Have a family history of PAD, heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
-Are not very active/do not exercise much.
If you are presenting with symptoms of PAD or are determined to be high risk for it, your Neuhaus foot and ankle doctor may perform a Smart ABI ® test to get a baseline evaluation of the blood flow in your feet and legs. This test is non-invasive, using blood pressure cuffs to see how much blood is getting to your feet and legs. You will receive the results immediately.
If the result comes back as abnormal your provider will refer you to a local vascular specialist for further evaluation and potentially intervention to help improve the blood flow to your legs and feet. Untreated peripheral arterial disease can lead to pain, non-healing wounds, or even amputation.
Getting regular foot exams from your podiatrist can help diagnose this problem and potentially avoid any complications from it- Schedule your appointment with a Neuhaus foot and ankle doctor today to have your foot health evaluated.