Have you experienced pain in your lower extremity after performing a tedious task or even when you are at rest? You’d likely have hurriedly blamed it on musculoskeletal problems. At Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute, we’ve seen that many are unaware of more acute underlying conditions like lack or poor blood flow to the lower extremity. Known as the best foot and ankle clinic in Celebration, we’ve explained peripheral vascular disease and how it relates to your foot and ankle.

What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)?

In simple terms, PVD is a circulatory problem in which blood vessels limit adequate blood flow to the ankle and foot. PVD can involve both the venous or artery system of the lower extremity. The artery system is responsible for transporting blood to your lower body, while the venous system is responsible for returning the blood to the heart. Cholesterol and calcifications of blood vessels are the leading cause of decreased blood flow to the foot and ankle. No doubt, adequate blood flow is vital because it offers nutrition and oxygen to maintain the tissues in the body. The effects of PVD are experienced in the lower extremity. They come with visual and functional changes. They come with pain when engaging in tedious or even light tasks. If the condition continues without any intervention, then the pain felt in the lower extremity can even be severe when at rest.

Symptoms Of PVD

PVD comes with many noticeable visual changes. Hence, in some cases, they make it crystal clear that a person who complains about pain in the lower extremity suffers from PVD. Here are some of the signs that have been observed in people:

  1. Changes In Nails- The nails of a person suffering from PVD will become brittle and thick.
  2. Limited Hair Growth- The growth of hair stays stagnant.
  3. Changes In The Skin- Skin might become thick and thin. Also, it comes with changes in skin color and temperature.

In addition to these light symptoms, more severe symptoms of PVD include worsening gangrene, wounds, and non-healing wounds. It is highly advisable that when you start to notice any of these symptoms, consult one of the reputable ankle and foot clinics in your region for a quick diagnosis. This is because patients diagnosed with PVD are even at high risk of amputation, life-threatening infections, and ulceration.

Factors That Lead To PVD

Factors contributing to a person’s susceptibility to PVD are:

  • History of Diabetes or Hyperlipidemia
  • Increase BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Patients who are 60 and older

The leading cause of PVD, however, is often linked with cigarette smoking. Some studies have noted that nicotine from cigarettes negatively impacts blood vessel lining, making a smoker susceptible to blood clots, ultimately leading to death.

Contact Us

Do you need a podiatrist to confirm if the pain in your lower extremity is caused by peripheral vascular disease? Contact us today at Celebration Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute! With years of experience helping patients like you in our Celebration office, we have the best team you can trust with your needs.