Peripheral Artery Disease and the Feet
By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
August 17, 2021
Category: Pain Management

Pain in your feet and legs could be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that affects more than 6 million people 40 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, cardiology pain management treatments offered by your St. Thomas, and St. Croix, doctors, Dr. Ahmet Sayan and Dr. Jeffrey Chase of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, can help.

What is PAD?

PAD occurs when plaque, a waxy material made up of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances, narrows or blocks your arteries. As a result, less blood reaches your feet and legs. You may be more likely to develop PAD if you're African American, smoke, are over 60, don't exercise often, or have diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Your risk of PAD increases if someone else in your family has it or has heart disease.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

PAD symptoms vary depending on the severity of the disease but can include:

  • Cold feet and legs
  • Cramps in your legs when walking and lying down
  • Less hair on your feet and legs
  • Numbness or weakness in the lower legs

Have you noticed that sores on your feet heal very slowly? Good blood flow is essential for healing. Without it, burst blisters and small cuts may be more likely to become infected and take much longer to get better.

How is PAD treated?

Improving your health by exercising more often, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking may decrease your PAD symptoms. Cardiology pain management in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, may also be helpful. Your doctor may prescribe medications that reduce your risk of blood clots, make it easier for blood to reach your feet, and keep your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure under control. In severe cases, bypass surgery may be needed to restore normal blood flow to the feet and legs.

Do you think that you may have peripheral artery disease? Cardiology pain management can help you manage your symptoms. Call your doctors in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, Dr. Sayan, and Dr. Chase of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. Call us at (340) 714-2845 for the St. Thomas, office, and at (340) 692-5000 for the St. Croix, office.