Conditions & Services

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease (commonly known as P.A.D.) is the term generally used for poor circulation. Poor circulation occurs when blood is restricted to the arteries in the leg.

P.A.D. is many times an indication of much more serious and widespread arterial disease in the body. This can affect the brain and cause a stroke or a heart attack.

Left untreated, P.A.D. can lead to limb-threatening conditions or even death. Early diagnosis and treatment is imperative for a good prognosis. If you suspect you have peripheral artery disease and are in the Akron-Canton, Ohio area, please contact Ohio Foot and Ankle Center.

What is it?

Plaque (caused by an abundance of cholesterol and other materials) can stick to the walls of arteries, leaving a narrow path for blood to travel. When this happens, oxygen-rich blood is prevented from properly circulating to the extremities. Peripheral Artery Disease is the result of this poor circulation.

Many patients have no symptoms of P.A.D., which makes this disease particularly threatening. However, some symptoms of peripheral artery disease may be:

  • Leg pain or cramping that occurs while walking
  • Leg pain or cramping while at rest
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Noticeably cold legs or feet
  • Sores on toes, feet, or legs that won’t heal
  • A change in leg color, toenail color or toenail thickness
  • Loss of hair on the feet and legs

Am I at risk?

Since only half of patients with P.A.D. have symptoms, it’s important to know the risk factors for developing peripheral artery disease. These risk factors include:

  • Age over 50
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol
  • High cholesterol
  • Personal or family history of P.A.D., heart disease, heart attack, or stroke
  • Infrequent or no exercise

How is a Peripheral Artery Disease diagnosed?

An examination of the affected leg and foot will be conducted by your doctor. Along with this, your risk for P.A.D. will be evaluated. If your doctor considers you to be at high risk, more diagnostic tests will be conducted.

For more details on Peripheral Arterial Disease, visit the ACFAS informational website.