Vascular Insufficiency / Intermittent Claudication

General or Other | Emergency Medicine | Vascular Insufficiency / Intermittent Claudication (Disease)


Intermittent claudication is pain (like cramps) felt the limbs (most commonly the legs).

Physical manifestations include pallor, inflammation, especially in the plant and toes, loss of hair on toes and reduce the pressure in the arterial pulses. The obstruction produce intense intermittent claudication.

Signs and symptoms are associated with paresthesia, paresis and cold sensation in the affected limb. Member is cold, pale, and cyanotic with absent pulses below the obstruction. Capillary refill time is increased. The disease usually affects the femoral arteries and popliteal, causing intermittent claudication (most common symptom) in the calf. Associated manifestations may include cold garment of the affected limb, numbness, paresthesia and, in severe cases, pain in the foot and toes, ulceration and Buerger gangrene. The disease usually produces intermittent claudication in the foot.

Causes and Risk factors

It is caused by physical exertion and diminishes after 1-2 minutes of rest. Pain can be acute or chronic. Intermittent claudication is more common in men aged between 50 and 60 years with a medical history of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension or smoking. In obstructive arterial disease, intermittent claudication resulting from inadequate blood supply. Pain felt in the calf (most common) or leg or popliteal femoral arteries indicate damage. Pain or damage to the buttocks and thighs indicate iliac arteries. Intermittent claudication can also cause neurological - narrowing of the spinal cauda equina (horse tail). This situation creates pressure on the nerve roots that innervate the limbs. Walking increases circulation to the affected area, causing increasing pressure exerted on the nerve and thus causing pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment of claudication and peripheral artery disease can help prevent your disease from getting worse and reduce your symptoms. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and participating in a regular exercise regimen, are often the first steps in treating claudication.

If your claudication symptoms dont improve after adopting a healthier lifestyle, your doctor may suggest other treatment options.


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