Some of the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can include pain, weakness, numbness, loss of hair on your legs, bluish-colored skin on the feet or calves, poor toenail growth, pain or cramps in your legs when walking, and wounds on your feet and legs that are slow to heal. To properly diagnose this vascular condition, your podiatrist may need to know your Ankle Brachial Index (ABI). Simply put, the ABI compares the blood pressure in the arm with the blood pressure in the ankle. Blood pressure during the heart’s contracting/pumping (systolic) phase is slightly higher in the ankle than it is in the arm for healthy people. Determining the ABI is a very simple and non-invasive procedure, using just a blood pressure cuff and a Doppler instrument. The patient lies down and rests for ten minutes. Then, blood pressure is taken at the upper arm, followed by the ankle. The ankle’s blood pressure is then divided by the arm’s blood pressure. An ABI ratio between 1.0 to 1.4 is considered normal. An ABI ratio of 0.9 or less usually indicates PAD—with moderate cases typically ranging between 0.4 to 0.7, and more severe cases falling below 0.4. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PAD, contact a podiatrist right away for a full examination and to see if your ABI should be analyzed.
Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with the foot specialists from NYC Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Vascular Testing?
Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.
How Is it Conducted?
Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.
The most common tests include:
- Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
- Doppler examination
- Pedal pulses
These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in New York . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.