Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation
Do you have wounds that won’t heal?
One of the first signs of the worst form of PADPeripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet., peripheral artery diseasePeripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood. (PAD) called critical limb ischemiaAlso potentially known as CLI, the most severe and deadly form of peripheral artery disease. (CLI), can be a nonhealing wound or ulcerUlcers (or wounds) can occur when there is poor blood flow in your legs or feet. Poor blood flow causes cells to die and damages tissue, often on the feet and legs. These types of wounds can be slow-healing.. Pay attention to lingering cuts, scratches or sores on your toes, feet or legs. If these wounds don’t seem to be getting better, it could be serious.
If you have PAD, the arteriesArteries are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart and other parts of your body. in your legs have narrowed and hardened, limiting blood flow to your feet and legs. This makes it harder for your body to heal itself. Blood cells that help you heal and fight infection struggle to reach the wound because the blood flow is so restricted.
People with PAD and diabetes(Diabetes mellitus) is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. are especially at risk. Diabetes reduces your body’s ability to fight infection and can leave you more susceptible to nonhealing ulcers.20 This kind of wound is the most common risk factor for amputations in patients with diabetes.22
Get a doctor to examine lingering sores
When blood flow to your legs, feet and toes is restricted, the skin in these areas can’t get enough nutrients. Even a minor sore that won’t go away could point to a major problem — one you might have had for some time without knowing it.
The arteries harden and narrow (a process called atherosclerosisAtherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.) and blood flow to the legs and feet is significantly reduced. This may also involve hardened and narrowed arteries to the heart and brain, causing an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
The obstructed blood flow is so considerable and widespread with CLI that many patients are at significant risk for amputationTo surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe) if they don’t seek treatment. Things can get worse from there — CLI can put a person’s limbs, and even life at risk.4
This condition can be serious and getting to a doctor right away is critical. Only a health care professional can diagnose you. Download our checklist and use it to have conversation with your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options.
THE AMPUTATION RATE among patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI), the worst form of PAD, IS ESTIMATED TO BE ~25%.5 So don’t wait. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor now.
Talk to Your Doctor
Only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD. Our Symptom Quiz can help guide the conversation about your treatment options.
Take the Symptom Quiz
Click below to take the interactive Symptom Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.