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What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral Artery Disease symptoms may include:

  • leg pain or cramps
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • non-healing foot wounds
  • skin discoloration

Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all, but plaque in the arteries is still silently straining your cardiovascular system and increases your risk for stroke and amputation. PAD symptoms are easily overlooked if attributed to arthritis and old age or when masked by nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy. African Americans and Native Americans are at particularly high risk for Peripheral Artery Disease. Learn more about the symptoms of PAD in our video gallery: View Video Library

What are the risk factors for peripheral artery disease?

Common risk factors of peripheral artery disease include:

  • Diabetes
  • Having any wounds or ulcers on the foot or leg
  • Having a history of smoking
  • Having a history of hypertension
  • Feeling resting leg or foot pain
  • One foot feeling colder than the other
  • Neuropathy
  • High cholesterol
  • History of a heart attack or stent
  • Being over the age of 65

Take our short and simple PAD Quiz to see if you may be at risk: Take the PAD Quiz

What causes peripheral artery disease?

The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, which is a gradual buildup of a plaque on the artery walls. The plaque buildup makes the artery narrower, which makes it harder to push blood through. This means that less blood and oxygen are pumping into the legs.

Outpatient minimally invasive endovascular procedures are an effective way of removing this plaque and/or opening up any areas that are particularly narrow. This will restore blood flow to the lower legs and feet.

When should I see a doctor about peripheral artery disease?

If you have symptoms of PAD or fall into a higher risk group (please see question about risk factors above), you are strongly recommended to come in for an evaluation. PAD is a lifelong and progressive disease, but catching it early means intervening early to prevent it from becoming debilitating or doing irreversible damage to your leg(s). In its advanced form, patients with PAD may suffer from non-healing wounds, which can increase the risk of infection and amputation. After a major amputation, there is a 1 year mortality rate of 48%. However, non-traumatic amputations are often preventable. Early detection of PAD is critical and can be lifesaving.

Watch this Video to learn why PAD should be treated early:

Take the PAD Quiz to find out if you’re at risk:

Peripheral Artery Disease Risk Assessment Quiz

PAD Risk Assessment

Take a quick FREE assessment to determine if you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease. Results are available immediately after submission and no personal information is required to see your results.

What does "PAD" mean?

“PAD” stands for Peripheral Artery Disease. It is caused by narrowing or blockage of blood flow to the legs. Claudication, which is pain or cramping in the leg(s) that is induced by exercising, can occur when a person has PAD. Left untreated, leg pain, discoloration of the skin, and sores can occur because of the lack of blood flow. It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Peripheral Artery Disease in order to address it early.

Why get an evaluation for peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) symptoms can range from subtle, like intermittent pain while walking, to more pronounced such as resting leg pain, discoloration of the lower leg and foot, and sores that don’t heal. Early intervention is critical to improving long term outcomes. The consultation is simple, painless, and covered by most insurances. If you have symptoms of PAD or fall into a higher risk group (please see question about risk factors below), you are strongly recommended to come in for an evaluation.

What should I expect during my evaluation?

You will meet with a vascular practitioner for approximately 45 minutes to evaluate your medical history, do a physical examination of your feet and pulses, and perform an ultrasound evaluation on your legs and feet to look, in real-time, at the velocity and quality of your blood flow. By the end of the appointment, you will know if you have PAD and whether interventional radiology is recommended? Watch this video about what you can expect at your consultation with Modern Vascular: Watch “What to Expect” Video Watch this video about what happens at a Modern Vascular screening: Watch “What Happens” Video

When is PAD Awareness Month?

PAD Awareness Month happens in September each year. We have made a page with resources to help spread awareness about peripheral artery disease. Please take a look at all of the PAD Awareness Month 2021 resources that we have assembled and make sure to share them with your friends!

What insurance plans are accepted at Modern Vascular?

Modern Vascular accepts most insurances, including Medicare. If you have questions about a specific insurance, call 1-888-853-1278 and a patient advocate can let you know if your consultation and/or procedure is are covered. We have locations across the country including:

Select the clinic to see the insurance plans accepted at that facility.

Where can I find more information about peripheral artery disease?

At Modern Vascular, we want to prevent amputations to save limbs and save lives, and we know this starts with education. We have compiled numerous educational videos so that patients and doctors can learn about Peripheral Artery Disease and take action towards early detection and treatment. View all of our video resources in our video library. View Video Gallery

Where is Modern Vascular located?

Modern Vascular is the only nationwide specialist with expertise and state-of-the-art technology to restore blood flow to PAD affected lower extremities down to the toe. We have locations across the country including:

See all Modern Vascular Clinics

How has coronavirus affected evaluations and treatments?

At this time, when the news is dominated by the coronavirus, we want you to know we are vigilantly implementing enhanced protocols to ensure your safety. We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and state Covid-19 guidelines regarding the spread of the virus. Our focus is to ensure we meet patient needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our communities safe. Our coronavirus patient protection protocols:

  • We have enhanced the techniques used to clean our facilities after each patient encounter.
  • Our employees are paying special attention to interior customer touchpoints such as seats, countertops, door handles, and other hard surfaces.
  • We are cleaning our facilities frequently with hospital-grade sanitizing products.
  • We have removed all shared contaminants from our patient waiting areas including magazines, brochures, etc.
  • We are employing daily CDC guideline screenings including instructing employees who feel ill to stay home and consult their healthcare providers.
  • We are monitoring the temperatures of all office personnel, patients and visitors daily. No one with an elevated temperature will be permitted to come into the office.
  • We are requiring all employees to be vigilant about frequent hand washing.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the clinic.
  • We are limiting the office to health care personnel, patients, and one patient companion.

View More Covid-19 FAQs