What are the Vascular Diseases in the Foot And the Best Treatment Method
What are the Vascular Diseases in the Foot?
Vascular Disease in the foot is a circulatory disorder that causes narrowing arteries in the limbs, blood vessels become narrow and their blood flow decreases, usually, due to atherosclerosis in which fatty deposits accumulate in the artery, reducing blood and oxygen flow to organs and limbs with a lot of accumulation, clots may develop, completely preventing the artery from flowing blood. And this can lead to pain and leg fatigue, especially during exercise or the disease progresses into limb damage and fingers or whole limb loss if left untreated.
What are the causes of vascular diseases in the peripheral foot?
Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of arterial obstruction, and one of the most famous factors that causes this disease is:
- Increase cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Age above 50 years.
- Kidney disease and kidney dialysis.
- Lack of physical exercise.
- Follow poor dietary habits.
There are other rare causes such as vascular infections, immune diseases and others.
What are the Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Diseases?
- Cramps and muscle tightening while walking a certain distance, disappearing when walking is stopped for a certain period.
- Hair falls from the leg, and the foot color becomes red, blue or black.
- Finger pain overnight prevents the patient from sleeping.
- Gangrene and peripheral tissue death.
- Ulcers in the limbs.
What are the Complications of Peripheral Vascular Diseases in the Foot?
- The wounds that do not heal.
- Life-threatening Infections, bone poisoning and septicemia.
-Tissue death and gangrene can lead to amputation of limbs.
- Pain at rest, with movement, and during sleeping.
- Sexual Impairment.
How are Peripheral Vascular Diseases Diagnosed?
The doctor examines the pulse of the limbs and looks for the signs of occlusion of the arteries of the limb and helps the patient to diagnose some important tests:
- Ultrasound (duplex): to measure blood flow and the place of occlusion of blood vessels.
-Ankle Brachial Indicator (ABI): This indicator gives an idea of the degree of blood deficiency in the limb and is measured before and after exercise.
-CT scans with dye: to determine the location of the occlusion and the nature of the arteries before and after the occlusion, as they help the doctor to choose the type of operation.
What is the treatment for occlusion of blood vessels in the foot?
The main objectives of treating occlusion of blood vessels in the foot is to stop the disease from progressing, control pain and symptoms, so as not to be active and reduce the risk of serious complications.
1- The First Line in the treatment of the occlusion of blood vessels in the foot is lifestyle modifications, which include regular walking, quitting smoking, and a balanced diet.
2- The Second Line in the treatment of the occlusion of blood vessels in the foot is some of the drugs that help to improve symptoms and reduce the occurrence of complications such as:
- Cilostazol or Pentoxifylline to increase blood flow, and relieve muscle cramp symptoms.
- Clopidogrel or Aspirin daily to reduce blood clotting.
- Heparin and Warfarin to prevent blood clots.
- Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, or other cholesterol-lowering statins.
- Medications for treating hypertension and diabetes.
3- The Third line is Surgical Intervention either by:
-Vascular Catheterization Surgery: it is a procedure done through local anaesthesia where a thin tube is inserted (catheter) in an artery in the thigh or arm, through which the narrow area is photographed and then expanded by the balloon, Sometimes a stent is placed to ensure that the artery remains open and one of its most important features is that it does not usually require general anaesthesia, a local anaesthesia is administered in the catheter insertion area. It suits patients who are candidates for general anaesthesia as cardiac diseased patients, its complications are lower than the surgery, no wound, and the patient can return home after 24 hours and be able to return to normal activities within a few days.
- Angioplasty surgery: Surgery is used in occlusions covering long parts of the artery or after angioplasty failure. A vein or synthetic artery is transplanted into the damaged artery above the blockage. It is connected to the post-blockage so as to allow re-flow of blood, usually a major surgery requiring general anaesthesia, and stay in hospital for several days.
- Carotid endarterectomy: to remove the accumulation of fatty plaque inside the artery to expand the bloodstream.
What are the Methods of Preventing Peripheral Vascular Diseases?
- Avoid smoking.
- Control of blood glucose level.
- Exercise 30 minutes a day, five times a week.
- Keep the cholesterol level and blood pressure low.
- Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Dr. Waleed El-Daly is the best vascular surgeon in Egypt using the latest methods in treating blood vessels and treating diabetic foot ulcers.