Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?
Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, refers to a reduction in blood-flow to the legs and feet. PAD is caused by hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, in which fatty deposits called plaques build up along the walls of the arteries. This buildup can reduce blood-flow, or block it completely. When blood-flow to the legs and feet is reduced, two conditions can result:
Claudication, the most common symptom of PAD, results in pain in the muscles of the buttocks, thighs and/or calves when walking.
People with critical limb ischemia, on the other hand, feel pain in their feet even when they are at rest, or develop non-healing sores on their feet. Those with critical limb ischemia are at risk for amputation.