The least favorite problem we treat in podiatry is peripheral arterial disease. I think the main reason we don’t like it is because we can’t do much about it and it can be so devastating. In our diabetic population it is one of the main causes of leg amputations. When the vessels of the leg clot up and very little blood can flow to the foot it results in pain early on and gangrene in the later stages. It is important to recognize the symptoms and have a vascular surgeon evaluate the options for fixing the problem. Much like a heart attack it is a much better prognosis the earlier it is dealt with. For some the early treatments are just a little more walking and an aspirin each day. For the serious ones surgical intervention can save the limb. Most cases are easy for a podiatrist to recognize and treat. It is not unusual for me to walk in a room and look at a leg from afar and identify signs of poor circulation. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, leg pain while walking that resolves quickly with rest and in the late stages pain in the digits with elevation or even just lying in bed at night which is resolved with hanging the legs down. If you have any questions or concerns about possible circulation issues associated with peripheral artery disease see a qualified podiatrist who can evaluate you to determine if you need a complete work-up by a vascular clinic. If you just want to prevent possible problems down the road then just focus on eating well, stay healthy and keep walking.
Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!
Nathan Ivey, DPM