September is PAD Awareness Month and the CLI Global Society would like to bring attention to the warning signs of peripheral artery disease, the predecessor of critical limb ischemia, the worst form of PAD.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a common circulation problem where buildup in arteries leads to reduced blood flow to toes and legs. Left undiagnosed or untreated, PAD can lead to the more severe disease known as critical limb ischemia, or CLI. Without diagnosis and intervention, CLI may lead to an unnecessary amputation.
Patients at high risk include those who are over the age of 50 with diabetes, those who are obese, have a history of heart disease or kidney disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, other circulatory issues or family history of PAD. Smokers are also at higher risk.
Symptoms for PAD and CLI include:
- Painful cramping in hips, thighs or calf muscles with walking or other activity that subsides with rest
- Leg numbness and weakness
- Coldness in lower leg or foot
- Discoloration of the legs or toes
- Sores on toes, feet, or legs that won’t heal
The CLI Global Society is committed to the early diagnosis and treatment of PAD and CLI, and preventing amputations that leave patients in pain, with reduced mobility, and at risk for further health complications, including death.