If you suffer cramping, tingling, or numbness in your legs, you may have femoral artery pain or peripheral artery disease. Worse, severe cases of this illness can lead to leg or foot amputation and heart attack or stroke.
The importance of timely detection cannot be overlooked. Read on to learn more about femoral artery pain, including its causes, symptoms, and risk factors.
Femoral Artery Pain: Causes, Symptoms & Risk Factors
Where Is the Femoral Artery?
The femoral artery starts at the top of your thigh and runs down to the back of your knee. All arteries, including the femoral artery, are made up of three layers:
- Intima keeps toxins out of circulation, maintains blood pressure, and prevents blood clots.
- Media allows your blood to flow in a single direction.
- Adventitia provides structure and support to blood vessels, transporting oxygen and nutrients from your blood to the femoral artery’s wall.
The femoral artery and its branches are responsible for supplying blood to the lower body. Your tissues receive oxygen and nutrition from your blood, and the femoral artery transports oxygen-rich blood from your heart. The femoral vein functions alongside the femoral artery and returns deoxygenated blood from your lower body back to your heart.
What Causes Femoral Artery Pain?
Your calf muscles require additional blood and oxygen while you move. Muscle pain that occurs during activity and disappears when you rest may indicate intermittent claudication. This condition is caused by a constriction of the leg’s arteries.
Disorders that affect the circulatory system are referred to as peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a constriction of the arteries in the lower body, including the muscles of the legs, calves, thighs, hips, and buttocks. This cardiovascular condition constricts arteries, limiting blood flow to the limbs. In addition, an accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries is likely to cause PAD as well.
When blood flow in the arteries becomes entirely restricted, PAD progresses. When plaque breaks off and enters the bloodstream, severe blood clots can occur.
Symptoms Of Femoral Artery Pain
Many people with PAD don’t show symptoms. Some people experience terrible leg discomfort when walking, which usually goes away after a few minutes of rest. Femoral artery pain can make it difficult to do daily activities. In the worst-case scenario, amputation of a foot or limb may be required.
Other signs and symptoms of Femoral Artery Pain include:
- Hair loss on your legs
- Numb sensation in the legs
- Pain in the feet and legs
- Brittle, slow-growing toenails
- Ulcers on your feet and legs which is unhealable
- Change of skin color, such as pale or bluish color
- Shrinking of muscles
- Erectile dysfunction in males
What Are the Risk Factors of Femoral Artery Disease?
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family genetics
- Lack of exercise
- Aging, after 50 and especially after 65
Smoking appears to be one of the leading causes of PAD, as smokers are three times more likely to develop the illness than nonsmokers. Therefore, quitting smoking is one method of guarding against PAD.
If any of the other symptoms listed above occur, it is best to have your blood pressure, cholesterol level, and other health concerns monitored and controlled by your health care specialists. Physical activity also helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in persons with PAD. Supervised exercise sessions are one of the treatments for PAD patients, as patients must follow the right intensity for any workout.
If you have questions about Femoral Artery Pain or any conditions discussed here, we can help.
Vascular & Interventional Specialists offers screening, diagnosis, and treatment for a wide range of vascular conditions. We specialize in vascular surgery and interventional radiology – world class procedures right here in your world.
If you’re having trouble with any of these symptoms, you can reach us at (605) 540-1561. We’re here to help.