September is PAD Awareness Month and here at Ocean County Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates, P.C. we strive to educate our patients about conditions that may affect their health and overall quality of life. Peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD, is a condition that affects the circulation, negatively impacting the nourishment of tissues with oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood. In some cases, patients may not easily recognize their symptoms and overlook warning signs of PAD. If poor circulation is left untreated it can cause blood vessels to narrow or become blocked. This blockage can lead to many serious disorders including kidney damage, and a loss of circulation to the lower extremity ultimately resulting in gangrene or tissue loss.
Some important questions for patients to consider when determining if they may have symptoms of peripheral arterial disease are:
- Are you experiencing numbness or weakness in your leg?
- Do you have thigh or calf pain while climbing stairs or walking?
- Do you have cramping, fatigue or pain in your hip?
- Do you have a cold feeling in your lower leg or your foot?
- Are you experiencing a change of hair color or hair loss on your legs and feet?
- Do you have sores/wounds that have difficulty healing?
- Do you have a non-existent or weak pulses in your legs or feet?
For someone who answers yes to any of the questions listed above, our skilled podiatric physicians at Ocean County Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates, P.C., will assess their condition through a physical examination in conjunction with an analysis of their health history. There are a number of risk factors that may be a part of a patient’s history that can lead to an increase in circulation problems. These risk factors include:
- Over 50 years of age
- Family history of elevated homocysteine levels
If one of our physicians suspect PAD based on a clinical examination and by reviewing details of a patient’s history, they may order tests such as non-invasive vascular studies. These studies assess the extent of blocked or narrowed arteries by using an ultrasound technique. This procedure can be performed through Ocean County Diagnostics, L.L.C., an IAC certified vascular lab with certified vascular technicians, conveniently located within our office locations.
If you should have any of these symptoms or may be concerned about the potential problem of peripheral arterial disease please contact our office for an evaluation. (732) 838-FEET