When there is a lack of blood flow and circulation is impaired from the heart to the foot, a condition known as ischemic foot may arise. Arterial insufficiency may occur due to a blood clot, cholesterol build up in the main artery or injury to the artery.
Ischemic foot means that there is not enough blood flow reaching the foot and providing the area with oxygen and nutrients needed to operate and function properly. The result can be extremely painful and cause the affected individual a lot of problems. Mobility problems, skin integrity disorders and even tissue death may occur due to the lack of circulation and blood flow to the foot.
Diagnosis of Ischemic Foot
Early symptoms of ischemic foot may include discoloration of the skin, cramping of the foot and toe muscles when walking, and extremely cold feet that are difficult to warm up. Later symptoms, after the condition has progressed, may include ulceration and dying skin. Gangrene and severe infection may result from the decreased blood flow in the foot.
Your Phoenix foot doctor will use a series of tests to help diagnose ischemic foot. A physical examination, arterial Doppler testing, and x-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the problem.
Treatment for Ischemic Foot
The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the earlier it can be treated. When an ischemic foot problem is treated early, the patient has a better chance of improvement.
During the early stages of the condition, your podiatrist in Phoenix may recommend walking exercises to improve circulation. Protective shoes may be necessary to prevent friction and rubbing against the skin. When excessive rubbing occurs, ulcers and skin wounds may occur. Medications are also recommended for improved blood flow to the foot.
When the condition has advanced, more aggressive treatment may be required to eliminate the painful symptoms and improve blood flow to the feet. Your foot and ankle doctor may refer you to a vascular specialist who can work with your condition and design an effective treatment plan. If surgery is required to remove a blood clot, further evaluation may be required.
Your podiatrist will work wit you to improve circulation and prevent serious problems from occurring. Serious problems that can arise if treatment is not received include infected ulcerations on the skin and tissue death. In the event that tissue death is severe, amputation could be the end result. It is important to see a podiatrist concerning your ischemic foot problems and have the condition evaluated and treated.
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