September 29th, 2014 | Leave a comment by   in Heart & Vascular

Leg Pain May Signal Vascular Disease

Knee injury

Atherosclerosis, plaque, hardening of the arteries, bypass surgery – people recognize these terms because they are usually part of a story about someone who had a heart attack or stroke. But, did you know that plaque buildup in the vessels outside of the heart can be extremely dangerous as well? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, occurs when plaque – a substance made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium and other particles – partially or completely blocks blood flow to legs, arms, the brain and other structures of the body outside of the heart. Without oxygen-rich blood to feed those tissues, they stop functioning properly and die. “PAD can be very serious if left untreated,” said Barry Katzen, M.D., an interventional radiologist who treats patients with PAD and is the founder and chief medical executive of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. “And while it can affect the arteries leading to the arms, brain,...

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