Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Patients who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes are at higher risk of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) of the arteries of the leg in particular.
The symptoms are mainly pain in the muscle with walking and relieved by rest. This distance can be variable. The muscles affected are usually one level below the site of narrowing or blockage in the artery. Patients who have coronary artery disease also have a 50% risk of having PAD.
Some patients go on to develop critical limb ischemia which results in pain at rest (causing the patient to hang their leg outside the bed for relief), non healing wounds (ulcers), gangrene resulting in limb loss.