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Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) narrows leg arteries, reduces blood flow and affects between 8 and 12 million people in the U.S. The majority of people with the condition don't know they have it. Our wound care team strives to promote awareness for the community we serve.

Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine treats chronic wounds with underlying conditions of the disease as well as consults non-invasive tests for P.A.D. and counsels patients on how to manage the illness which can, if left untreated, lead to lower limb amputation and possibly death.

"One in every 20 Americans older than 50 has P.A.D. and those with the condition are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke making them six times more likely to die within 10 years than those without the disease," explains Benjamin Wolf, Program Director at Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine."Often there are no symptoms so it is important that people be aware of factors that put them more at risk."

In addition to chronic wounds on the toes, feet or legs, the experts at Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine give the following risk factors and symptoms of P.A.D.:

  • Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk.
  • African-Americans are more than twice as likely to have P.A.D. as their white counterparts.
  • One in every three diabetics over the age of 50 is likely to have the disease.
  • People with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or a personal history of vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke are at greater risk.
  • As you get older the risk increases since the disease develops gradually.
  • While some people dismiss it as a sign of aging, nearly everyone with P.A.D. is unable to walk as fast or as far as they could before.
  • A typical sign is experiencing fatigue or a heaviness in the limbs or cramping in the buttocks, thigh or calf after walking or climbing stairs and then feeling better after resting.
  • Leg or foot pain may cause trouble sleeping for those with P.A.D.
  • The skin of the feet may change color and become pale or turn blue.
  • Toenails that do not grow as well as before and decreased hair growth on the toes and legs may be another symptom.

Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy to increase the blood flow and reintroduce the body's innate ability to heal. Other treatments may include making lifestyle changes to modify diet or add an exercise regimen, physical therapy, medications and, in extreme cases, surgery may be needed.

For more information on managing P.A.D. and treating chronic or infected wounds, contact Penn Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at 610-738-2590.

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