What is Peripheral Arterial Disease ?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your legs and feet. When you develop PAD, your legs do not receive enough blood flow to keep up with the demand especially during exercise. PAD is caused by a process called atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries that narrows and blocks arteries throughout the body, including in the heart, brain, arms, legs, abdomen and kidneys.
Many people mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else and this condition often goes undiagnosed by health care professionals. People with PAD have a higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and major leg amputation.
Leg and buttock pain when walking (claudication)
Rest pain (typically at night when you are lying down)
Non-healing foot wounds, which may turn black, also known as gangrene, or get infected
High blood pressure
Being diabetic (approximately 12% prevalence in Singapore). Furthermore having chronic kidney disease or end stage kidney disease and being dependent on blood or water dialysis can increase your risk of PAD and make the condition worse to treat.
- Intermittent Claudication
Cramp in the legs and buttocks during exercise caused by blockage in the major leg arteries.
- Chronic limb threatening ischaemia
Severe peripheral artery disease – when there is rest pain in the feet especially at night when lying down that is not relieved with strong analgesics. Also this condition can present with a non-healing or worsening foot wound for more than 2 weeks duration, which may be infected and has turned black (gangrene).