Claudication - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of claudication?

Pain and cramping in the legs is the main symptom of claudication. Pain can be sharp or dull, aching or throbbing, or burning. The severity of the peripheral artery disease, the location of the plaque, and the activity of the muscles determine the severity of symptoms and location of pain. Calf pain is the most common location for leg cramps. This is because the atherosclerotic plaques often begin in the arteries farthest from the heart. If the blockage or plaque formation is farther up the leg, the pain from claudication may be felt in the thigh. If the blockage is in the aorta (the main artery from the heart to the legs) then symptoms may include pain in the buttocks or groin or erectile dysfunction.

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Comment from: Judy Cleine, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

Dull pain in feet, ankles, and lower legs when walking were the symptoms of claudication. Other symptoms were a feeling like wading through glue, need to rest often, severe cramps at night in which the toes lock and curl upwards towards the face. Feet are always feel cold and increasingly numb, and are cold to the touch. There was no detectable pulse in my ankles at my last rather pointless physio-exercise exam. I have been a smoker for 50 years (it helps me think) have had low blood pressure for most of my life, and have grown and eaten my own fresh food for 50 years. My parents both died aged 64 of strokes and heart failure. When my husband died four years ago I lost a lot of weight (size 16 to 6) and lost all interest in food. Since then I have tried to fatten myself up again. Eggs, yogurt, cheese, potatoes, greens, pork, chicken, capsicums, rice garlic, ginger, and for an occasional treat an ice cream and two pieces of chocolate. Suspect all I have done is increase a pre-existing cholesterol/ inherited weak heart. I'm not looking for a cure. Would appreciate an honest prognosis.

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Comment from: geoffo, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 21

I am a male of age 64. I have history of heart problems, with atrial fibrillations and 2 heart stents fitted six years ago. I started to get slight pain in right buttock on walking. Nothing else caused this pain, only walking; about 8 minutes into a normal walk (not shopping walking but just normal walking). After 6 months the pain got worse until after some time I would have to stop walking. Waiting just 2 or 3 minutes and pain would go, sometimes not to return at all even after an hour of walking. Eventually intermittent claudication was diagnosed by CT scan. I was offered angioplasty, but will continue to walk in hope that I can stop it getting worse. Having had 4 angioplasties in the past, I'm not keen on being punctured again (even wonder if that is why I have a groin blockage).

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