PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), peripheral vascular disease (PVD), leg atherosclerosis, claudication, or just poor circulation. Arteries can slowly become narrowed and blocked as a consequence of age, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes. Less blood reaching the muscles in our legs makes them hurt, like angina makes One of our foot and ankle specialists can evaluate your circulation and potentially devastating condition.
Have you ever been told that you have poor circulation? Your restricted blood flow could be the sign of a more severe medical condition called peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
PVD is a disease that impacts the blood vessels around your heart. Because the arteries and veins surrounding your heart send blood to other parts of your body, this disease usually shows symptoms in the legs and feet. PVD causes varicose veins and spider veins, while PAD leads to intermittent claudication in the legs and feet.
Both are serious and can make healing foot wounds more difficult. When foot wounds have a hard time healing, you are at a bigger risk of infection, which in the worst-case scenario could lead to amputation.
For you to have minimal risk of infection, and healthier feet, diagnosing and treating your poor circulation is vital.
Diagnosing Peripheral Vascular Disease
A podiatrist is the right doctor to diagnose PVD because of how much it impacts your feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Your doctor will begin diagnosing PVD by doing a visual exam of your lower extremities and reviewing your medical history. During the exam, your podiatrist will evaluate your pulse, skin condition, and look for any type of foot deformities. This is all done to determine whether you are at risk of PVD.
If the podiatrist believes that you might have PVD, you may be asked to go through a series of tests.
- Anklebrachial Index is a test that measures and compares your blood pressure in your arms, and ankles.
- Ultrasounds are used to detect and measure blood flow and blood pressure behind the knees or ankles.
- Angiography is an imaging test used to study your blood vessels in your legs, ankles, and feet.
The tests are not invasive, not painful, and not difficult. If you are at risk of PVD, having these tests done is vital so you can move forward with treatment and minimize the impact PVD will have on your feet and legs.
Treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease by a Trained Orange County Podiatrist
Your podiatrist will recommend a specific treatment plan based on how severe your PVD is. In general, there are three main types of treatment for PVD available in Orange County.
- Lifestyle changes. If you smoke, have a poor diet, or live a more sedentary lifestyle, your podiatrist will recommend you change your living habits. This is recommended regardless of how advanced your PVD is.
- Medication. You might be prescribed medication to improve your blood flow or control your blood pressure. Other medications to help lower cholesterol, to control blood glucose levels, or to prevent blood clots may also be prescribed.
- Surgery. In some cases, a foot deformity may limit blood flow. Your doctor might recommend a surgical procedure to fix the deformity and improve your blood flow.
If you believe you might have PVD or PAD, it is critical that you seek help. Getting help from a trained PVD podiatrist in Irvine or Victorville can reduce the symptoms, and lower your risk for future complications.
VENOUS INSUFFIECIENY (VARICOSE VEINS)
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a common cause of leg pain and swelling, and is commonly associated with varicose veins. It occurs when the valves of the veins do not function properly, and the circulation of blood in the leg veins is impaired. CVI may affect up to 20 percent of adults. Over time, CVI may result in varicose veins, swelling and discoloration of
the legs, itching and the development of ulcers near the ankles. Vein problems are among the most common chronic conditions in North America. One of our foot and ankle specialists will evaluate your lower extremity and help guide your treatment for this condition.
At California Foot & Ankle Institute, we treat PVD on a regular basis. We understand what to look for, and how to give you the treatment you need so that you can live a more pain free and infection-free life. Call us today to schedule your free consultation and find out if you may be at risk for PVD.