Peripheral Arterial Disease of the Legs
Many people who have peripheral arterial disease (PAD) don't have symptoms.
If you do have symptoms, you may have a tight, aching, or squeezing pain in your calf, thigh, or buttock. This pain, called Reference intermittent claudication Opens New Window, usually happens after you have walked a certain distance.
For example, your pain may always start after you have walked a block or two or after a few minutes. The pain goes away if you stop walking. As PAD gets worse, you may have pain in your foot or toe when you aren't walking.
Only about 1 out of 5 people with PAD have intermittent claudication.Reference 1
Other symptoms of peripheral arterial disease of the legs may include:
- Weak or tired legs.
- Difficulty walking or balancing.
- Cold and numb feet or toes.
- Sores that are slow to heal.
- Foot pain while you are at rest, which means that PAD is getting worse.
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- Pain in the thighs, hips, and buttocks. These symptoms may be caused by Reference Leriche's syndrome, a type of PAD.
More severe symptoms, such as skin changes on the feet or legs, may be a sign of advanced PAD.
Some people may not report symptoms to their doctors. This may happen in:
- People who have a high pain tolerance.
- People who have other health problems such as diabetes with numbness in their legs. This can prevent them from feeling pain.
- People who never exert themselves long enough for leg pain to start.
Whatever the reason, not reporting symptoms can make it harder for doctors to diagnose the disease.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 17, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery