Leg Weakness: A Sign of Peripheral Artery Disease
The cause of leg weakness can be something as simple as overexertion during exercise, but this common symptom can also be a warning sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the lower extremities. PAD is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries, reducing the flow of blood from the heart to other parts of the body. The most common type of PAD affects the legs and feet, and is often accompanied by a wide range of symptoms.
Untreated PAD can lead to dangerous complications, including heart attack and stroke. If you are experiencing leg weakness and other symptoms of PAD affecting the lower extremities, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with American Endovascular today.
Symptoms of Leg Weakness
Leg weakness is often accompanied by leg pain or numbness. Determining the cause of symptoms is crucial for a person’s overall health and comfort. Leg weakness associated with peripheral artery disease has a few characteristics that set it apart. Symptoms of leg weakness caused by PAD include:
- One leg feels weaker than the other
- Both legs equally feel weak
- Trouble standing or walking
- Leg weakness accompanied by numbness, pain, and tingling in the legs
- Leg weakness associated with muscle atrophy
- Weakness in the legs that begins with physical activity and stops within minutes of resting
Causes of Leg Weakness
Individuals of all ages may experience leg weakness for a wide range of reasons, from exercise to medication usage. However, leg weakness can be a sign of a condition that requires medical attention, so it is important to see your doctor if you have concerns. Seeking out the proper care will help get you on the right treatment path and ensure that you can continue to live and move more comfortably. Some of the many causes of leg weakness include:
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Slipped disc
- Pinched nerve
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain medications
Find out if you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease.
How Does Peripheral Artery Disease Cause Leg Weakness?
Peripheral arterial disease impacts the body’s ability to easily transport blood and oxygen throughout the body. When the extremities do not receive the resources they need to function properly, your body will let you know. As the arteries affected by PAD become partially or completely blocked, the legs (or other affected parts of the body) lose their connection with the blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow they need. This can lead to weakness and pain in the legs and an increased risk of PAD-related complications. The slowing of circulation to the legs can have several negative effects on the lower extremities, including leg weakness.
Leg weakness is considered a symptom of more severe PAD, so proper diagnosis and treatment at this stage are essential to your overall health. At American Endovascular, our endovascular specialists will work to determine if your leg weakness is caused by PAD and then guide you on the right care path.
Treatment for PAD-Related Leg Weakness
Those experiencing leg weakness and other symptoms of peripheral artery disease can trust our team at American Endovascular to provide the care they deserve. We offer the latest PAD treatments and take each patient’s unique medical needs into account, all while ensuring that your questions are answered every step of the way. Learn more about our innovative treatment options for PAD below.
As PAD worsens, the risk of losing a limb increases. Amputation may become a possibility in cases where PAD-related tissue damage is severe. At American Endovascular, we specialize in helping patients avoid amputation whenever possible, via innovative techniques and technologies such as pedal artery access.
Angioplasty is a procedure that involves the insertion of a low-profile catheter with an inflatable balloon attached. This mechanism is used to stretch the affected artery open and promote blood and oxygen flow to the rest of the body. Medicine can also be administered through the catheter to address clotting.
This minimally-invasive procedure has evolved with cutting-edge advances including orbital, rotational, and diamond-coated surface technology. A small incision is made in the artery and a catheter is inserted to address the blockage. Our specialists may suggest an atherectomy to treat arteries or blood vessels that cannot be managed with stents.
A stent is a metallic-based implantable device inserted into the affected artery with the goal of providing a new skeletal framework. It helps to strengthen the walls of the artery and keep it open, supporting proper blood flow. Some stents even have drug-eluting properties to prevent clotting.
What to Expect from Your PAD Treatment
Our Vascular Specialists
At American Endovascular, we are proud to offer our patients care from our team of affiliated vascular specialists. Our physicians truly care about the health and well-being of each patient, creating personalized treatment plans and answering all questions every step of the way. We are proud to be considered innovators in PAD treatment in NY & NJ.
What Our Patients Are Saying
Recent Blogs & Videos
Learn more about vascular health, prevention, and care for Peripheral Artery Disease.