A vascular blockage occurring in the arms or legs is considered a type of peripheral artery disease (PAD). The blockage can cause a decrease in blood flow leading to pain, difficulty in movement and ulcers. Peripheral artery disease usually affects the legs, and complete blockages can end blood flow to legs and result in gangrene and/or amputation. The preliminary symptoms can include numbness or weakness in your leg, or sores on the toes, feet and legs.
If the vascular blockage is occurring in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis), for example, in the leg, the condition can be dangerous. Deep vein symptoms can include redness, skin warm to the touch, swelling of the leg, ankle and foot and pain or cramping in the calf muscle. Deep vein clots or blockages can break loose from the vein and cause a pulmonary embolism in the lung, which can be fatal. Pulmonary embolism symptoms are shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and coughing up blood. Call for emergency help if your experience these symptoms.
Imaging techniques, such as ultrasounds and MRIs are preferred diagnostic tools because they are less invasive than surgery and work just as well. Diagnosis for a vascular blockage can include angiography, a type of X-ray that uses an injected dye to map the blockages and narrowing in the arteries
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