Main Article on Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Question: Please describe your experience with peripheral vascular disease. Submit Your Comment Comment from: Sharon, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07 Year 2018, I'm 67 years old and just had a blockage removed in my left leg due to peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The blockage was so severe my doctor had to go through the groin and top of my foot at the same time. He did the roto-rooter and I felt immediate difference the next day, no more cramping and leg pain. I'm getting other one done in a month's time. I can't wait to walk and really enjoy my retirement! Comment from: Jerry/929, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 02 I first noticed my problem when I was 64. I was on vacation in Rome, Italy. Maybe the 9 hour flight contributed to bringing my peripheral vascular disease (PVD) to the surface. After walking about a block or two, both my legs hurt so bad I had to stop and rest. After a miserable vacation, I came home. I was seeing doctors for back pain. After useless injections, a physician's assistant suggested a hip x-ray. I did have a bad hip. During testing for the hip replacement, vascular doctor found blockages in both legs above knees. I got a new hip (December 2015). I went back to the vascular doctor. He attempted operation to clean arteries (March 2016) but they were calcified. He also tried to stent but could not inflate the balloon. Total failure. During this operation I developed atrial fibrillation. I went to a heart specialist. Six months later, I had a cardioversion that lasted 6 weeks. Two weeks later (December 2016) I had an ablation. Atrial fibrillation is now gone. Then I was suffering with my leg pain. I purchased a scooter. I could not even go grocery shopping without scooter. I thought some of the pain was from my back. My left foot was gradually losing feeling. I had a compressed nerve operation on left leg just below left side of knee. That opening did not heal, and I also developed another sore on bottom of left foot near little toe. I had a laminectomy (December 2017) L-2-3-4-5-S1. Back to the vascular doctor (January 2017) and went into operating room to bypass leg arteries, put in dye; they found blockages in pelvic area. They took me out and rescheduled for aortobifemoral bypass. Did that in February 2017. Now it is 10 weeks later. It's a miracle. I can walk again with no pain. I had nearly given up to scooter life. I smoked for 53 years. The doctor said if I didn't quit I would be back for more of the same. Last day I smoked was the day before surgery. The doctor prescribed patches while I was in hospital which was day 2, 3, and 4. He offered a prescription for when I was released from hospital. I am never going to smoke as long as I can walk without pain. I had cancer, lymphoma, treated with chemotherapy 7 years ago. I believe it contributed to the PVD. I'm sure the 53 years of smoking was a factor. Whatever the cause, if you can do anything to prevent PVD, please do. Again I say it's a miracle I can walk again. Published: October 06 I started to develop symptoms about 2 years ago. I thought the problem was my worn-out shoes and some weight gain. It got to the point that nothing I tried relieved the pain in both legs. I could no longer walk even a block w/o pain and it was affecting my job. The first vascular surgeon I saw said I was wasting his and my time because I was a smoker. That was a year ago. I am currently going through treatment which has included 10 inches of stenting in my left leg and an upcoming bypass in my right leg. I am only 49 years old and my surgeon says I have vascular disease of an 80 year old. If you smoke, please stop. If you have symptoms of PAD, most likely treatment will not be started until you QUIT SMOKING !!!!!!!! You have a choice here. How does dead tissue and amputation sound to you??? Comment from: ruerue05, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 10 I have had peripheral vascular disease for three years. I have had my arteries in my legs cleared about six times. I have seven stents in my legs, one stent in my left kidney, and one stent in my pelvic area. I take Plavix and warfarin each day. I am researching a new drug called cilostazol that I will discuss with my doctor. Comment from: Suzy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 03 I recently had surgery for peripheral arterial disease, they did balloon and stent. I fell a few days ago, and now have very bad pain behind my knee. I wonder if I could I have done something to the stent. Comment from: Gillc, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 29 I have hip and ankle pain, weakness of knee and hip, and also burning of outer calf muscle because of peripheral vascular disease. This is always there, but has becomes so much I can't walk. Comment from: John, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 01 I experience a numbness like pain in the left calf muscle when walking. This sensation stops when I stop walking and rest. It appears to start as a mild pain in buttocks or from back to buttocks. I wonder if this is a symptom of peripheral vascular disease. Comment from: bonnie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 01 I was diagnosed with a peripheral vascular problem. Both main arteries running down the inside of my legs are blocked, the right leg has a blockage of 9 inches and the left one is 10 inches. Before this I had a good sex life. But now getting and maintaining a full erection is very difficult. SLIDESHOW Spider & Varicose Veins: Causes, Before and After Treatment Images See Slideshow Comment from: Betty, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 01 I have had ankle and leg pain for years with no concrete diagnosis. Recently, I have had a new severe pain, only at night while in bed. It's a pain in the back of my calf that goes up to the back of my thigh. It doesn't subside for at least an hour or two. Sometimes it subsides when I get up and stand for a few minutes. I am concerned that it might be peripheral vascular disease. Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 17 I am a 56 year old male who has recently been diagnosed with PVD. Symptoms started about 2 months prior when noticing brief burning shin pain in the right leg as I cut grass. After a brief break and sitting down about 10 minutes the pain would go away. This continued about a month each time I would do physical activity. I attributed this to being out of shape due to limited activity. One morning about 1 month later I noticed one toe on my right foot was a purplish/blue color. Once again I blamed it on something such as maybe striking my toe on something in the middle of the night. Next day again I noticed now several of my toes on the right foot were blue. I then contacted my personal doctor who referred me to be seen by a vascular Dr. Upon seeing this vascular Dr. he scheduled me for surgery the very next day in an effort to place a stent into the right calf where he had determined the blockage was. After undergoing this I was advised by the Dr. the blockage was too severe to clear or stent so I was once again scheduled for surgery the following week where bypass surgery was conducted to my right leg. It has been about 6 weeks now and so far I have maintained 100% circulation once again in this leg. I was however informed that my 40 plus years of smoking was one of the major factors leading to this disease as I am not overweight nor do I have high blood pressure or extremely high cholesterol. I was further told by my Dr that if I smoked another cigarette this bi-pass that was conducted would likely clog very quickly once again. My advice to all is to quit smoking immediately and if you have never smoked please don't start in hopes you will not have to go through what I just had done. Comment from: Irene, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 09 I have had the disease for about 16 years. Have had many operations, about 12 including a Cadaver graft, it didn't work but I tried. I have had a stent put in my abdomen, have had gangrene in my big toe. Lost part of the big toe. This has all been in my left leg. I go to see my Vascular surgeon once a year or more if needed. I work 4 days a week sometime more. I work 5 hours days and contribute this to helping the leg by keeping the circulation going. It's been a long hard road but I still have both my legs and also contribute this to the wonderful surgeon I have. I am 75 years old. I do whatever I want and have no problem with it as far as everyday living goes. I work, I do yard work, which I love. I live alone and manage my household. I take a blood thinner and make sure I have my blood checked every month. You can live with it and I try to ask questions whenever needed to so I can learn about this disease and how to live with it. Comment from: Jeanneree, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 06 I have had pain, numbness, extreme weakness, tingling in my right leg and foot for a couple of years. Great difficulty climbing stairs and sometimes not able to walk. I have had several PAD tests - about twice each year for the past 3 years - with negative results. I have been doctoring for one year for this discomfort which became progressively worse. I had xrays, epidurals, MRIs, etc. One week ago, I underwent a Lumbar Laminectomy to relieve pressure on my sciatic nerve only to awaken to the same degree of pain and weakness and above symptoms in my right leg which all continue 8 days later. This article on PAD describes my symptoms exactly. It's a great website and I thank you for the information. I plan to present it to three physicians and my surgeon. Comment from: mukilteogal, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10 I started feeling the symptoms of this disease when I was approximately 40 years old. I put off going to the doctor until walking became almost something I could no longer do. 20 years later I have had numerous by-pass grafts and one amputation. My life has been altered and it is something I would not bless on my worst enemy. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do, stop. Make sure you are tested for cholesterol levels, including triglycerides, which is my problem. The minute you feel the symptoms, go to your doctor. Comment from: dolly, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 05 I had vascular surgery on August 5, 2015 to correct a blockage for peripheral vascular disease. It was successful and I have no more pain. I chose the very best vascular surgeon. Comment from: Bea, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 25 I am a senior citizen and I was told the condition of my right leg and eventually the left was due to old age. My family doctor said he heard a good pulse in my feet and legs. My main problem was discoloration and shininess on the bottom middle of the leg. Eventually it began to itch and I suddenly developed a sore, which my doctor said was an ulcer. He gave me Solodyn (an antibiotic to apply and cover with a bandage. That helped and it healed, but others appeared. My regular doctor had a sonogram done of my veins. A Baker's cysts showed up under my right knee. My doctor felt there was nothing more to do except elevate my legs and wear surgical support hose. I've been wearing strong support hose for 53 years already. Comment from: Eva, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 04 I started about 4 years ago with my heart pounding and burning through my entire body at night. I have been on beta blockers which help some, however the side effects of dry mouth and unusual dreams keep me up at night. I have been diaganosed with micro vascular disease and still having problems Comment from: Ricky-Tick, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 19 I have had "collapsed" arteries for years and had four tries at bypass surgeries. It not only didn't work, but I got leg infections and had to be hospitalized 3 times. The next suggestion was to have veins from my right side and put in place of my left leg femoral artery. I then got a second opinion that said that would only work (if it did at all) for about 5 years. That scared me as I am only 60 years old. Comment from: 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 17 I have peripheral vascular disease and scared to death of what the doctors want to do to me. Now, after reading what these people say has happened to them, I'm terrified. I know I am right not to let them start cutting me up and putting stents in me. That seems to be the only answer they know and I was sure I knew where it would lead. Readers, thank you for your comments. Comment from: metal1, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 26 After having calf and foot pain for 3 months I went to get tested for PAD. I had a blood vessel that was blocked and had surgery. It was behind my knee and so a stent wasn't used. The surgeon just went in the artery in my groin and cleaned the blockage. Now, two weeks later I am taking Plavix and Zocor and still have the claudication in my calf. I thought the surgery would fix it, I am very disappointed. Comment from: [email protected], 45-54 (Patient) Published: April 01 I first noticed the cramping in my right calf about three years ago and thought it was somehow related to a slight tear in my meniscus. In any event, it was an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an ultrasound and the determination of intermittent claudication was made. I stopped smoking the day after that dx, and for two years thereafter I remained a walking testament to healthy living. However, I fell off the smoking wagon on a trip to Italy, and it was not long thereafter that the symptoms returned with an even greater intensity. My advice, in short: Don't smoke and watch your diet. You can't control all aspects of your health, but this is something entirely within your power to aid by your own efforts. Comment from: RK, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 13 I am 55 year old female. I started having leg pain, heaviness, and falling in the early 90's when I was about 47-48 yrs old). I assumed the falling was just because I was so clumsy. I went to the doctor many, many times and I was not taken seriously. I told the doctor what was happening...bad pain whenever I was walking on an incline, pain and heaviness after walking to mailbox and back. I show the doctor the toes of my shoes that were all scratched up because of falling and not picking my foot up enough which would cause me to trip and fall. No tests. Then, in 2001 I was told I may need to see a psychiatrist. I started crying and then he told me he would send me to a vascular surgeon for some tests. I had 98% blockage in right leg & 95% blockage in my left leg. I was scheduled for aortobifemoral bypass surgery right away. My advices is to seek 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc.. if you are having problems and your doctor does not order tests... Comment from: Lydia777, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 13 I was diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease. I have been having severe pain in my right leg upon waking in the morning. It almost feels like I'm having a stroke in my leg. In the past month, this has happened three times now. Comment from: dolly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 04 Having PVD is really painful and scary. I really feel better about my options after having been on this site and I am doing all the self-care options and I will also be sure to follow doctor's orders. Comment from: maggiend1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 12 I am a 54 year old female with peripheral vascular disease, COPD. I'm a 32-year smoker, trying to quit. I have a history of heart disease and have chronic degenerative disk disease from my neck to my tail bone, along with spina bifida occulta. I have constant aching pain in both my legs, grinding hip pain and I'm dizzy when standing or walking any distance. My doctor has me on Plavix, Crestor, Lisinopril and Trilipix, as well as an aspirin regimen along with several other medications including Metformin for my diabetes. I'm a recovering alcoholic with 3 1/2 years of sobriety and my liver is finally healing. The harder I try to quit smoking the more I want to drink, so I go back to the cigarettes. My doctor has informed me that I have a 100% blockage in my right leg, and approximately 80% in my left. I will probably lose both of my legs if the smoking cessation doesn't work and if the medications fail. I am on Medicaid and they don't cover cessation products so each time I quit, it's cold turkey. I use a wheelchair for outside activities and try to walk as much as I can inside as long as I have things to grab hold of in case I fall. My attitude is fairly good and no history of depression so I'm safe there. Comment from: jw, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 01 I have severe pain in both calves and numbness in both feet. At night, I have relief by dangling my legs over the bed. Sometimes, I have to sleep in a reclined position to alleviate the pain. I cannot walk any distance the pain becomes unbearable and I just have to stop and rest. I had testing done and will receive angioplasty in the very near future. Comment from: blueaussie36, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 11 My Doctor just put me on cilostazol 50 mg take one pill for two weeks and then take 2 pills. My left leg and foot swell and my feet are numb all the time and they get very cold and it goes up my left leg. He also is having me go for therapy 3 times a week. I don't know what that is for as I have not started yet. Comment from: incenselady, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 13 I found the information very helpful because it describes what I have had for at least a year but wasn't concerned that it was anything serious. First just the toes on one foot would turn blue and now both are turning blue, off and on during the day. I plan to have a vascular scan. I identified with a majority of the symptoms, now. I'm concerned. I'm 69 and as I look back I can remember at 19 a family Dr. saying I had poor circulation and my veins were close to the surface. That was 50 years ago. One symptom that I identified with is the buttock pain amongst others. I never could figure that one out, it really was puzzling, at times it felt debilitating. I've blamed walking or stress, tightening my butt muscles. I've been a walker most of my life. Very healthy inclined to ignore small things. Comment from: 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 21 My 63-year-old husband who smokes and lives a very sedentary lifestyle had his first onslaught of PVD pain last week. He came in the living room, grabbed his right calf and began writhing and groaning in pain. Doctors discovered not only an occlusive clot, but 3 aneurysms in his right leg. His surgery will be 4 days from now. He's on IV Heparin now and will be on Coumadin the rest of his life. The pain was sudden, acute and very frightening to both of us.