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Martin Foot & Ankle

How PAD Can Plague Your Feet

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PADIf you like your art kinetic and eclectic, then the “Gerberich’s Gadgetry” exhibit at North Museum is for you. Running until Jan. 3, this showing brings junk to life in large, mechanical sculptures. The exhibits wouldn’t run well if they didn’t have enough electricity to get things moving, however, and that lack of “juice” is also a primary problem when it comes to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and your feet.

When it comes to your body, cells need oxygen and nutrients to thrive. These are delivered through the circulatory system, of which the arteries are the primary supplier. If these vessels become narrowed and blocked by the buildup of cholesterol, fats, and other substances, blood flow is reduced and parts of the body may not get as much sustenance as they need. This can be especially true for the feet, since blood needs to travel the farthest to reach them.

PAD can cause several different symptoms in the feet or toes. One of the easiest to detect may be an aching or burning pain while at rest. This can especially be true while you’re lying prone in bed at night. You might also notice redness or discoloration in the skin, coolness to the touch, or a lack of hair on your toes as follicles can no longer be supported.

Perhaps the most troubling symptom, however, is wounds on the feet that heal more slowly, or have trouble healing at all. This is a sign that poor circulation is affecting the healing process in the feet, which makes any damage to them more prone to infection. Combine this with a loss of sensation due to peripheral neuropathy, and you have a recipe for sores and cuts to develop into ulcers as they go unnoticed. Both PAD and neuropathy are more likely if you have diabetes, in which case you should be especially careful and watchful of your feet.

The effects of poor circulation in the feet can be troublesome, but you don’t have to face them alone. The doctors of Martin Foot and Ankle can provide expert wound care and help manage other symptoms of the disease. Call (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment with one of our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz and York today.

Dr. Kyle R. Yorgason
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