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What is limb ischemia?
It is a condition due to which blood supply to the leg or arm diminishes.
What are the common causes?
Commonly, smokers, diabetic and /or those with high cholesterol levels in blood are prone to this
What are the symptoms of Limb Ischemia?
Initial stages of limb ischemia are manifest typically by pain in the affected limb on walking. This is called Claudication. The pain is relieved by rest and is reproducible each time. This pain is most commonly seen in the calf muscles but can occur in the thigh, buttocks or arms as well. This is like a heart attack of the leg, hence is often called a "Leg Attack" Later, as the blockages increase in the blood vessel/s, the pain remains even at rest. Finally the color of the affected part turns dark, cold and a wound appears, commonly in the foot to start with: this could be gangrene. Occasionally, one might get a limb ischemia of sudden onset due to clot lodging in a blood vessel, something which has travelled commonly from the heart. This is an Emergency and requires an urgent hospitalization and further operative management.
How is slow onset (Chronic) Limb Ischemia treated?
Search for the closest located Vascular Surgeon and seek immediate help. Most limb ischemia of slow onset (who have claudication), are treated with medicines and lifestyle changes. Only 15% of Chronic limb Ischemias will require an intervention: be it a surgery or an angioplasty.