Tuesday, 29 November 2022 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, PAD, is a circulatory condition that results from the buildup of fatty deposits that collect in the blood vessels. While some people with PAD do not experience symptoms, others feel pain when they walk that recedes when they rest. Other symptoms include loss of hair on the legs and feet, numbness in the legs, and brittle slow-growing toenails. In addition, people with peripheral artery disease may have sores on the feet and ankles that do not heal, and changes of color on the skin. PAD commonly affects people who smoke or have diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These conditions all cause or contribute to the narrowing of the blood vessels that serve the feet. Exercising and giving up smoking are the top two ways to decrease the effects of peripheral artery disease. Medication and in some cases surgery may be prescribed. If you believe you have PAD, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist for help in determining the best treatment plan for you.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Kevin Davis from Davis Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Springfield, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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