Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) & Foot Gangrene Treatment

Do you have leg pain after walking few steps? Have you developed any black discoloration of your toes or fingers?
If answer is YES, It can be a peripheral arterial disease….

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)?
When fat & calcium builds up inside blood vessels (arteries) of legs / arms, it leads to reduced blood flow & can cause pain in that particular limb. This process is known as atherosclerosis & disease is named as ‘Peripheral Arterial Disease’.

What is Gangrene?
If blood vessel remains blocked for prolonged time, blackening of toes or fingers can develop, which is called ‘Gangrene’. Gangrene is basically a dying body part & hence, the last stage of PAD.

Peripheral Arterial Disease
Am I at risk?
If you have following risk factors then answer is YES.
Risk Factors - Old age ( > 50 years)
  • Smokers or Tobacco chewing (Any age group)
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Obesity
  • Previous history of Heart attack or Brain stroke (Paralysis)
What are symptoms / presentation?
The disease progresses over time & has 3 stages of presentation.
  1. Pain in legs or thighs after walking a fixed distance, but gets relieved by taking rest.
  2. Severe burning pain in legs, constant, worse at night. Not relieved by any medications.
  3. Development of Gangrene in toes / fingers.
What to do next if I suspect PAD in my legs?
Consult a Vascular surgeon for clinical assessment. Doctor may perform an ABI/ultrasound Doppler / CT Angiography / DSA test of your legs & will explain you further course of treatment.

What if I neglect it?
Negligence can be dangerous in this disease. U may progress to stage of spreading gangrene & the doctor may not be able to save your limb despite best efforts.
Is there a chance of recovery even after gangrene development?
YES. It can be cured if reported to a Vascular surgeon as soon as possible.
What are the treatment options?
Treatment depends upon stage of the disease & length of vessel blockage.
  1. Medication + Walking exercise
  2. Balloon Angioplasty
  3. Vascular Stenting
  4. Bypass Surgery
  5. Amputation + Best suitable prosthesis
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