What You Should Know About PAD and Chronic Wounds
September 4, 2020
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition that develops when the arteries, that supply blood to the internal organs, arms and legs, become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. PAD affects between eight and 12 million people in the U.S., contributes to difficult to heal wounds and is associated with amputation. Though the symptoms may be serious, an astonishing 40 percent of people with PAD do not experience any symptoms.
The Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics at Southwestern treats chronic wounds with underlying conditions of the disease as well as performs non-invasive tests for PAD and counsels patients on how to manage the illness which can, if left untreated, lead to lower limb amputation and death.
In addition to chronic wounds on the toes, feet or legs, our team at the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics wants to highlight the following risk factors and symptoms of PAD:
Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk.
- One in every three diabetics over the age of 50 is likely to have the disease.
- People with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or a personal history of vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke are at greater risk.
- As you get older the risk increases since the disease develops gradually.
- While some people dismiss it as a sign of aging, nearly everyone with PAD is unable to walk as fast or as far as they could before.
- A typical sign is experiencing fatigue or a heaviness in the limbs or cramping in the thigh or calf after walking or climbing stairs and then feeling better after resting.
- Leg or foot pain may cause trouble sleeping for those with PAD.
- The skin of the feet may change color and become pale or turn blue.
- Toenails that do not grow as well as before and decreased hair growth on the toes and legs may be another symptom.
Advanced PAD results in delayed wound healing and greater risk for limb loss. Timely detection and treatment of any wound can reduce risk of amputation and improve quality of life. The Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics offers advanced wound care treatment, technology and research. That means patients heal faster than those who receive only generalized wound care. Chronic, non-healing wounds need advanced wound care.
If you are experiencing symptoms of PAD, contact your primary care physician. If you need a primary care physician, Southwestsern Medical Center can help. Visit our Find a Doctor online directory to get connected with the care you need.