Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, PAD, is a circulatory condition that affects the lower limbs and feet, among other extremities. It is the result of a buildup of fat and plaque in the artery walls that restricts blood flow. Signs that you may have peripheral artery disease include pain, numbness, and a feeling of coldness. In addition, if you have PAD, you may notice that minor wounds on the ankle or foot take an unusually long time to heal. You may be more at risk of having PAD if you are a diabetic, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and if you are a smoker. If left untreated, PAD can cause serious health problems, including gangrene and, in extreme cases, the loss of a limb. A podiatrist can examine your feet and ankles to determine if peripheral artery disease is the cause of your symptoms. Tests may include checking the pulse in the feet, as well as taking CT or ultrasound scans. For more information about peripheral artery disease in the feet, please contact a podiatrist.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Scott Samera, DPM from Samera / Foot + Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Lake City and Branford, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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