Lower Extremity Arterial Disease (also Peripheral Artery Disease - PAD) is where plaque builds up and can occur anywhere in the body including the arteries supplying the legs. When significant blockage occurs in these arteries, there is decreased blood flow to the muscles of the legs and feet resulting in symptoms.
Less frequently, a clot (from the heart or elsewhere) can cause sudden loss of blood flow to the leg resulting in an emergency that threatens potential limb loss – immediate restoration of blood flow is essential.
Signs and symptoms of lower extremity artery disease may include leg:
Testing for lower extremity artery disease may include:
Treatment for lower extremity peripheral artery disease includes smoking cessation (when appropriate), additional risk factor modification to reduce likelihood of more plaque build up (similar to management for coronary artery disease), exercise, medication, and when necessary to restore blood flow, catheter-based treatments (thrombectomy, thrombolysis, atherectomy, angioplasty, stenting) or bypass surgery.