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Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC

Vascular Surgery, Wound Care, and Podiatry located throughout Maryland

Leg pain that patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) experience is known as claudication. If you're suffering from leg pain when you walk that eases if you stop, the team at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, successfully treats patients with PAD, using minimally invasive angioplasty techniques where necessary. There are several convenient locations in Bel Air, Baltimore, Towson, Westminster, Elkton, Frederick, Ellicott City, Hampstead, Abingdon, Columbia, Lutherville, Severna Park, MD, Wilmington, and Newark, DE. Call your nearest office to schedule a consultation, or use the online booking form today.

Claudication Q & A

What is claudication?

Claudication is a specific type of pain and cramping in your legs that's due to insufficient blood flow to your muscles when you're walking. It can sometimes affect the arms and shoulders but is most common in the legs.

The pain and other symptoms like aching, fatigue, and discomfort typically set in after you start walking at a certain speed. You might experience claudication pain and cramping in the big muscles of your thighs, calves, and buttocks, and sometimes in your feet or hips.

The distance and speed you can manage before symptoms begin decreases as the disease progresses. Claudication symptoms initially improve when you stop walking, though as the condition worsens, pain may continue even when you're resting.

What causes claudication?

Claudication is a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which affects the arteries carrying blood rich with oxygen from your heart to your legs and feet. PAD results from atherosclerosis — the narrowing and hardening of arteries that restricts blood flow.

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which a fatty residue in your blood gathers and forms a sticky substance known as plaque. The plaque attaches itself to the inner walls of your arteries, where it builds up over time, gradually reducing the space through which blood can flow freely.

Plaque consists mainly of cholesterol, a type of fat that’s widely available in dairy, meat, and processed foods. Consuming high quantities of cholesterol in your diet and not exercising enough are the key causes of atherosclerosis and PAD.

What treatments are available for claudication?

To treat your claudication, your provider looks at your lifestyle and eating habits to see where you might need to make changes. Addressing the underlying cause of atherosclerosis is vital when treating claudication.

If your claudication is severe, you might also need to take medications to lower your cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots. A badly blocked artery might require further intervention, such as minimally invasive balloon angioplasty or stenting.

Angioplasty is a catheterization technique in which your provider compresses the plaque against the artery wall by inflating a tiny balloon inside your artery.

If you have claudication, get a prompt diagnosis and expert treatment by calling Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, or booking an appointment online today.