Lower Limb Ischaemia

  • Lower limb ischaemia

Lower limb ischaemia is impaired blood flow into the leg.

What is Lower Limb Ischaemia?

Lower limb ischaemia is caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. 

Lower limb ischaemia is classified according to its severity (known as the La Fontaine classification).

            Asymptomatic (no symptoms)                                  I

            Intermittent Claudication (muscle cramping)           II

            Pain while at rest                                                    III

            Ulceration/gangrene                                              IV



What part of the body does it affect?

Lower Limb ischaemia affects the lower legs and feet. 

What are the symptoms?

Those with only mild impairment may not experience any symptoms.  More severe limitation of blood flow allows enough blood into the leg while at rest but not enough during exercise; this can cause intermittent 'claudication', a painful cramping pain in the muscles while walking.  If you're suffering from severely restricted arterial blood flow you may experience pain while resting and this can progress in the most serious cases to ulcers and gangrene

What are the treatment options?

Is the condition preventable? If so, how?

Lower limb ischaemia is best prevented through general good cardiovascular health, controlled through diet, managing blood pressure, not smoking and controlling cholesterol. 

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