Peripheral arterial disease is when arteries narrow, reducing blood flow to your arms or leg. It mostly affects the leg arteries. The peripheral arterial disease usually indicates atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries. Claudication, which is leg pain when walking, is the main symptom of Davenport peripheral arterial disease. The pain, which ranges from mild to severe, is mostly felt in the calf. Other symptoms include leg numbness or weakness, coldness in your lower leg or foot, skin color change on the legs, and painful cramping on one or both of your hips. In severe cases of peripheral arterial disease, you may experience pain while resting or lying down. There are many treatments for peripheral arterial disease, including:
Your doctor may prescribe antiplatelet drugs like aspirin or clopidogrel to treat your peripheral artery disease. Cilostazol can help improve your walking distance. This drug is beneficial if you have intermittent claudication exercise longer before you get leg pain.
Supervised exercise programs
A supervised exercise program helps improve claudication symptoms with walking, allowing you to walk farther. Your doctor supervises you as you walk on a treadmill at least three times per week. You can also walk at home for at least thirty to six minutes daily. Walking at home usually includes the following steps: walk until the discomfort reaches a moderate level and then stop, wait for the pain to go away completely, and start walking again.
Minimally invasive and surgical treatments
Sometimes for patients with severe peripheral arterial disease, leg pain may not go away even after months of exercising or taking medications. Advanced peripheral arterial disease may need minimally invasive or surgical treatment. These procedures include:
A stent is a tiny tube your doctor puts inside the affected artery to keep it open after removing accumulated plaque. This treatment helps the blood get through the artery more easily and prevents the artery from getting too narrow or blocked.
Angioplasty is a technique that creates more space in the affected artery where plaque has accumulated. The treatment involves your specialist using a tiny balloon to force fat deposits against the artery walls to allow blood to get through your artery. Often, doctors place a stent or tube inside the newly opened space to keep it open.
Peripheral artery bypass surgery
Bypass surgery involves your doctor rerouting blood flow from blocked arteries to a healthy vein. The doctor may use a vein from your body or a synthetic material. This surgery restores blood flow to keep your limb tissue alive, helping you avoid amputation.
Atherectomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which your specialist removes plaque with a catheter attached to a sharp blade or laser. The sharp blade or laser scrapes out the hard plaque restoring healthy blood flow. Atherectomy help alleviates symptoms of peripheral arterial disease. After this procedure, your doctor may perform an angioplasty or stent placement.
Peripheral artery disease is when your leg or arm arteries become narrow or blocked due to plaque accumulation. It causes leg pain when you are walking. Schedule an appointment at Vein & Cardiovascular Center for peripheral arterial disease treatment to prevent leg amputation.