Written By Kirstin Rizk
Christian Schott is a patient of Dr. Jean-Baptiste.
At 27, Christian stands apart from Modern Vascular’s usual demographic: patients typically middle age or older. Yet Christian’s symptoms were among the most severe, resulting in three or four emergency room visits over the last few years before finally receiving treatment for his excruciating foot pain.
As a custodian, Christian spends a lot of time on his feet. So, when he began to experience bouts of terrible foot pain about three years ago, his life and work were both majorly disrupted. With seemingly no cause, he would wake up, try to stand, and immediately fall to the ground from the pain. He added, “Usually, I would just wake up with it and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m going to be bedridden, I can’t move or walk at all today.’”
His primary care doctor and the doctors at the emergency room suspected Christian’s pain was being caused by gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis, and said that the pain would go away in a few days. Perhaps because Christian doesn’t fit the typical demographic for peripheral artery disease, this potential cause of his pain was ruled about before being considered.
Finally, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Reyes referred Christian to Modern Vascular. Christian explained, “I was very blessed. Everyone was super nice and understanding and for the first time I didn’t get ‘it’s gout, we don’t know what to do,’ it was ‘let’s order a few tests, let’s try this, are you okay if we try this?’ Before they would even touch my foot or anything else they would be like, ‘Do I have permission to try to move this around?’… I felt really loved and taken care of when I was there.”
During his evaluation, Modern Vascular’s specialists checked the capillary refill in Christian’s feet. This test is easy and painless: a squeeze on the foot or toe, and count the seconds until the color returns. It should not take more than 2 seconds. For Christian, it was 7 seconds.
This showed that Christian’s foot was not receiving enough blood flow, due to narrowing or blocking of the arteries in his legs. This could explain why, as Christian described, his foot could “turn any color from purple, blue, sometimes even a little green or black.” It could also explain why sometimes his pain was so bad he had to crawl to the bathroom to avoid putting pressure on his foot.
Christian was recommended for procedure at Modern Vascular. Of his experience during the procedure, he said, “they told me what they would do before they did it, like what to expect, just all the things that you want to hear when you have a procedure or go to a doctor’s office.”
A few days after his procedure, Christian’s foot already felt lighter. He has not experienced the debilitating pain that used to occur every month or month and a half since his procedure. Christian is on schedule to see a rheumatologist soon to ensure that he is not additionally having joint-related issues, but there is no doubt that his severe peripheral artery disease was complicating, if not outright causing, his debilitating pain. Thankfully, he is now on track to live the pain-free and healthy life that a 27-year-old should be.
 Sansone CM, Prendin F, Giordano G, Casati P, Destrebecq A, Terzoni S. Relationship between Capillary Refill Time at Triage and Abnormal Clinical Condition: A Prospective Study. Open Nurs J. 2017 Jul 26;11:84-90. doi: 10.2174/1874434601711010084. PMID: 28839512; PMCID: PMC5543682.