Blockage of arteries in legs | How do you treat clogged arteries in your legs?

Blockage of arteries in legs / How serious is leg angioplasty?
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Peripheral arterial disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels and prevents them from performing their full function, as the arteries lose their elasticity and their ability to pump blood to the extremities. 

In the case of blocked arteries in the foot, the access of blood flow and oxygen to the legs is reduced due to narrowing or blockage of the leg arteries supplying the foot. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis means the accumulation of fatty materials on the inner walls of the artery in a way that leads to its narrowing or blockage. This affects the blood flow to the feet, causing many health problems.

What dose blockage of arteries in legs mean?

Blockage of arteries in legs is a condition that affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the legs and feet. 

It occurs due to the narrowing of the arteries in the legs and causes decreased blood flow in peripheral arteries, which may lead to injury to nerves and other tissues. 

It is considered a type of peripheral artery disease.

What are causes of blockage arteries of legs and what is classification?

Atherosclerosis, which leads to a gradual increase in fatty deposition in the wall of arteries, can lead to atherosclerosis. 

Even though the central point of atherosclerosis is the heart. 

The body can be affected.

The main risk factors for peripheral artery blockage are smoking, diabetes, dyslipidemia, aging, and high blood pressure. 

Atypical risks are: race chronic kidney disease, increased inflammatory markers such as protein C (CRP), and congenital or acquired hereditary thrombosis 

Among these risks, smoking and diabetes are particularly important while hypercholesterolemia (high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is perhaps the most important risk factor for ischemic heart disease (CAD) and high blood pressure for cerebral blood circulation (CVD).

Classification of arterial occlusive disease in the foot:

Grade 0:without symptoms.

Grade 1: Intermittent claudication

A. Minor: Limping after 200 meters with a recovery time of less than 2 minutes. 

B. Moderate starting at less than 200 meters with a retrieval time of more than 2 minutes.

C. Severe occurs below 100 meters with a recovery time of more than 2 minutes.

Grade 2: Ischemic pain at rest.

Grade 3 Minor tissue loss.

Grade 4 high tissue loss.

Blockage of arteries in legs

What is clinical picture of blockage of arteries in legs?

Symptoms of obstructive peripheral arterial disease depend on:

A. The type of artery affected.

B.Degree of artery blockage.

The artery narrows gradually or the blockage occurs suddenly.

Symptoms usually begin after the artery’s lumen is approximately 70% blocked. However, gradual narrowing of the artery may cause symptoms that are less serious than sudden blockage – even if the artery eventually becomes completely blocked. 

Symptoms can be less serious because Gradual narrowing allows time for nearby blood vessels to expand or for new blood vessels to grow (collateral vessels). Thus, blood can still supply blood to damaged tissue.

However, a sudden blockage of an artery does not allow time for collateral arteries to grow, so symptoms are usually severe.

A sudden, complete blockage of an artery in the lower or upper extremity can cause severe painful sensation, and coldness in the affected extremities. 

A person’s leg or arm will be either pale or bluish. 

The pulse cannot be felt beyond the site of the blockage. 

A sudden, decrease in blood flow in peripheral  arteries is an emergency and manifested as: 

  1. Stopping blood flow in peripheral arteries may lead to a rapid leak of sensation in the limb or paralysis.
  2. Tissues may die, and the limb may need to be amputated if blood flow in peripheral arteries is stopped for a very long time.
  3. Intermittent claudication, the most common symptom of peripheral arterial disease, is caused by a gradual narrowing of an artery in the leg; a painful, aching, cramping, or feeling tired occurs in the leg muscles – not the joints. Claudication occurs regularly and is predictable during activity Physical
  4. pain, but it always goes away immediately when resting. 

The person feels muscle pain when walking, and the pain begins to be felt more quickly and more intensely when the person walks quickly. 

The person can usually walk, after a period ranging between 1-5 minutes of rest (sitting is not necessary), The same distance that was previously walked, although continued walking will trigger the pain again when walking a similar distance. 

The pain most commonly occurs in the leg muscle (calf), but it can also occur in the thigh, hip, or buttocks, depending on the location of the blockage. In very rare cases, pain occurs in the foot.

The distance a person can walk without pain decreases as one of the arteries in the lower extremity becomes more narrow. 

The leg muscles may hurt even at no activity when the condition eventually worsens, especially when the person is lying down. 

This pain usually begins in the lower leg or in the Forefoot, which is serious and persistent, and worsens when the leg is elevated. 

The pain often interferes with sleep. 

A person can hang his feet over the side of the bed by sitting with his legs dangling, to relieve the severity of the pain.

Large blockages in the arteries of the upper extremities, which is a rare condition, may lead to fatigue, cramping, or pain in the muscle of the limb upon repeated use.

When there is a mild or moderate lack of blood flow in peripheral arteries, the upper or lower limb may appear almost normal. However, when blood flow in peripheral arteries to the foot is serious, it may become cold, and doctors may need special equipment to check the pulse in the foot. The skin on the foot or leg is dry, scaly, shiny, or cracked. 

Nails may grow abnormally, and leg hair may not grow. 

Increased narrowing of the artery may lead to the development of ulcers that are difficult to heal, usually on the toes or heel and sometimes on the leg, especially after Being injured. 

Infections are easy to catch and become apparent quickly. 

Skin wounds may take weeks or months to heal, or may not heal, in people with obstructive peripheral arterial disease. Foot ulcers can occur. Leg muscles often shrink (or atrophy). 

A large blockage can lead to gangrene (death of tissue due to lack of blood flow in peripheral arteries).

In some people with a predictable, consistent limp, lameness can worsen suddenly for example, calf pain that appears after walking 10 blocks may suddenly worsen after walking one block. 

This change may indicate that a new clot has formed in One of the leg arteries. 

These people should get immediate medical attention.

What are investigations to evaluate blockage of arteries in legs?

Your doctor may be required to diagnose peripheral artery disease including:

1. Physical exam: The doctor may find signs of peripheral artery disease during a physical examination, such as a weak or completely absent pulse below a narrowed area of the artery, buzzing sounds above the arteries that can be heard with a stethoscope, poor wound healing in the area where blood flow in peripheral arteries s restricted, along with low blood pressure.

2. Ankle-brachial index: This is a common test used to diagnose peripheral artery disease. 

To get a blood pressure reading, your doctor regularly uses a blood pressure monitor and a special ultrasound device to evaluate blood pressure and flow.

You can walk on a treadmill and get readings before exercising, as well as immediately after completing the exercise, to capture the severity of the narrowing of the arteries during the walk.

3. Ultrasound: Special ultrasound imaging techniques, such as Doppler ultrasound, can help the doctor evaluate blood flow in peripheral arteries through the arteries as well as identify locations of blockages and narrowing in the arteries.

4. Angiography: By injecting a dye (contrast material) into the arteries, this test allows the doctor to watch blood flow in peripheral arteries through the arteries as it occurs. 

Your doctor can detect the flow in arteries of contrast material (dye) using imaging techniques such as X-rays or performing an MRI or CT angiogram.

5. Catheter angiography is an interventional procedure and is done by directing a catheter through an artery in the groin to the affected area and then injecting a dye in this way. 

Although this type of angiography is invasive, it allows diagnosis and treatment at the same time. 

After finding the narrowed area in the peripheral blood vessel, the doctor can expand it by inserting a small balloon or by giving medications that improve peripheral blood flow in peripheral arteries.

6. Blood tests: A blood sample can be used to measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as to screen for diabetics that affect peripheral arteries.

What is treatment of blockage of arteries in legs?

There are several ways to treat blockage of arteries in the legs:

A. Treating blocked arteries in the legs with catheters:

This option is considered essential when the patient feels unbearable pain or gangrene by making an opening or small incision in the groin to expand the blocked arteries with a balloon and placing a stent to keep the artery open to re-deliver blood to the peripheral again.

B. Surgical treatment of blocked arteries:

It is considered one of the old traditional methods that require anesthesia for some patients who suffer from liver problems due to the use of dyes in the catheterization process, but with the development of science, we can use carbon dioxide gas as an alternative to dye to reduce the harm to human health.

C. Leg artery occlusion surgery:

The patient undergoes tests that show the length of the obstruction, its size, and the treatment method that is compatible with his health condition.

Some tests are then agreed upon with the patient to determine the date of the operation, and they may be performed immediately if the patient’s condition is late and does not tolerate postponement.

Where a catheter is made and the blockage is expanded, the first stent is installed, and then the second stent and the blockage is opened and peripheral blood is restored to the leg again.

D. Artery transplantation in the foot:

With medical development, we have tried to reduce the incidence of amputation by implanting an artery in the leg and using general or local anesthesia for cases that suffer from a total blockage of the artery. 

It may require the assistance of superior human cadres to perform this operation, which requires extreme precision to restore blood flow.

E. Peripheral arterial dilator medications:

The specialist doctor advises taking medications to prevent peripheral blood clots, such as aspirin and clopidogrel, which reduce the accumulation of platelets.

It is also recommended to take medications that reduce fat deposition on the walls of blood vessels and arteries, such as statin medication, which reduces cholesterol levels.

It is also recommended to take medications that stimulate blood circulation, such as.

Please note that it is forbidden to take these medications except after consulting the treating physician to determine the health condition and the appropriate type of medication.

The complications of the process of treating blockage of arteries:

In modern technologies such as catheters and endoscopes, the process of angioplasty is considered less risky than in previous times when the patient underwent surgical operations.

You can seek help from the best vascular doctor, as he performs operations with the latest technologies and also introduces you to the most famous doctors and professors of vascular surgery.

Some preventive methods to get rid of the problem of blockage arteries

You can avoid the problem of leg arteriosclerosis by:

  1. If you suffer from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you can maintain your health through the appropriate diet and medications recommended by your physician.
  2. You can regulate your weight to avoid being overweight or obese and resulting in health problems.
  3. Avoid smoke and taking narcotic substances that cause blockage of blood vessels.
  4. It is also risky to eat fatty foods and greasy foods that lead to the accumulation of fats and grease in the blood vessels.
  5. It is recommended to do exercises and sports to maintain the health of the body and make it healthy.

Treatment of clog arteries in legs: –

Treatment of Clogged Arteries in Legs, When dealing with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which causes clogged arteries in the legs, a multifaceted approach to treatment is often adopted. One potential treatment is revascularization, a surgical procedure designed to restore blood flow.

This might be recommended for patients who experience severe leg pain that hinders daily activities or if previous treatments have been unsuccessful. Additionally, medications like aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix) can be prescribed to help prevent blood clotting and improve circulation, thereby reducing the risk of further complications associated with PAD.