About 6.5 million American adults age 40 and older suffer from PAD or Peripheral Arterial Disease. When left untreated, PAD can lead to more serious health issues such as stroke and heart attack.. This month is PAD Awareness month. Learn about the signs and symptoms of PAD from the board certified vascular surgeons of Premier Vascular and Vein Center in Knoxville, TN.
What is PAD?
PAD is a circulatory problem caused by the narrowing of the arteries. These narrowed arteries, in turn, reduce the flow of blood into the limbs.
There are several causes of PAD, but the most common one is atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty deposits on the artery walls.
Other causes (accounts for some cases) includes blood vessel inflammation, radiation exposure, injury to the limbs, and unusual anatomy of the muscles or ligaments.
What are the signs and symptoms to watch out for?
Many people with PAD have mild to no symptoms at all. For those who are symptomatic, the most common complaint is leg pain when walking (also known as claudication). This is a result of insufficient blood flow to the limbs.
Claudication isn’t just discomfort in the limbs (arms or legs) when using them. In many cases, it’s also accompanied by cramping which goes away after a few minutes of rest.
The severity of claudication could vary. For people who are experiencing severe claudication, movement can cause debilitating pain, making everyday activities a challenging thing to do.
Other signs and symptoms of PAD include:
• The difference in temperature in the extremities (e.g. the lower leg or foot may feel cold compared to other areas)
• Sores that won’t heal
• Slower growth of nails
• No pulse or weak pulse in the affected extremities
• A change in color of the affected extremities
• Pain when using the affected arm or leg
• Erectile dysfunction in men
If you are experiencing any of these, it’s best to see a vascular specialist who can determine if you have PAD.
Like other diseases, there is a better treatment outcome for PAD if it’s detected earlier.
Premier Surgical Vein and Vascular Center in Knoxville, TN has the largest team of Board Certified Vascular surgeons in the Knoxville area. They assess your condition and recommend the most suitable treatment option.
For a PAD Screening Appointment Request, you may fill out this form. If you have any questions, reach out to us by calling (865) 588-8229.