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3 frequent signs of peripheral artery disease

Across the U.S., an estimated 8 to 12 million people over the age of 50 suffer from peripheral artery disease, a condition where the build-up of plaque in the veins causes a restriction on blood flow to the limbs. In severe cases, it can completely cut off blood flow and lead to tissue damage. Ohio patients may suffer a heart attack or a stroke or need to have a foot or leg amputated as a last resort.

There are three common signs of PAD that patients should look for, the first being what's called intermittent claudication. This refers to the muscle cramps in the hips, legs and feet that patients may experience when exercising. These movements create an increased demand for blood, and when PAD prevents the muscles from getting this blood, they cramp. The pain may even linger on while patients are resting. This is not the most obvious of symptoms, though. A study from Circulation Research found that only around 15% of PAD patients experience intermittent claudication.

Wounds that do not quickly heal are a second sign. This happens because clogged arteries cannot carry as much oxygen and nutrients that help in healing. A decrease in leg temperature is the third sign. Patients may notice their toes becoming bluish and their toenails taking longer to grow.

Many symptoms are not specific to PAD and can thus lead to a misdiagnosis. With a misdiagnosis may come unnecessary treatments and the worsening of the patient's actual condition. If the diagnostic error was the result of negligence, then victims may pursue a case under medical malpractice law and seek compensation for those medical expenses both past and future as well as lost wages and pain and suffering. A lawyer may help them in gathering evidence and negotiating for a settlement.

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