We treat and cure Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) at Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan and we do it in our outpatient office so that you don’t have to go to the hospital.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) or arterial insufficiency is commonly understood as poor circulation. Ulcers in the lower extremities arise from gradual narrowing of the arteries that bring oxygen and nutrition to the lower extremities and result from tissue death where this blood flow becomes insufficient to nourish the skin and all its parts. Poor circulation is one of the 5 Reasons Wounds Won’t Heal.
The most common sites for arterial insufficiency ulcers are found over bony surfaces of the lower extremities. These include the ankle, toes, and the spaces between the toes and heel.
Symptoms of poor circulation or peripheral artery disease:
A reliable symptom of peripheral artery disease is leg pain that is relieved by dependency or gravity such as sitting on the edge of the bed with feet hanging over the edge. Early on in PAD, long before ulcers arise, patients first experience exercise-induced pain. In more advanced PAD, patients will begin to experience pain when resting at night. In the latest stages, skin ulceration may occur due to a complete lack of oxygen to the skin overlying the bony surfaces.
How do I tell whether my ulcer is from venous insufficiency or arterial insufficiency? Raising the legs (typically swollen) above the heart helps symptoms of venous insufficiency where lowering the legs off the side of the bed helps the pain of arterial insufficiency. A simple ultrasound performed in our office or a transcutaneous oximetry (TCOM) test can easily identify arterial insufficiency as well as possible coexisting venous insufficiency.
Treatment for Peripheral Arterial Disease (Poor Circulation)
The vessel needs to be opened (revascularized) at the point of blockage. Endoscopic catheterization of the affected artery followed by angioplasty with a placed stent is the most effective way to obtain blood flow to the non-healing arterial insufficiency ulcer. Some patients who don’t qualify for this minimally invasive procedure may require arterial bypass surgery.