The most common form of
PAD is caused by
. The arteries most commonly affected are those that carry blood to your legs. Lack of blood to these areas causes the symptoms associated with PAD.
Plaque Blocking an Artery
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Calf or thigh pain with exercise is termed claudication. Claudication is a sign of PAD. The discomfort may consist of cramping, limping, or a feeling of heaviness, weakness, or fatigue in the legs. Symptoms of claudication usually begin after walking a certain distance—such as a block or two—and end after resting for the same length each time.
Many people will have no symptoms at all. In those that have them, PAD may cause: Numbness of the legs or feet at restCold legs or feetMuscle pain in the thighs, calves, or feetLoss of hair on the lower extremitiesPaleness or blueness of the legs or feetWeak or absent pulse in the extremityWalking
troublesFoot wounds that heal slowly
Last reviewed August 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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