Leg Pain - Getting Help Does Not Always Mean a Hospital Visit

Leg pain, cramping, swelling, numbness or skin discoloration is common complaints that physicians hear from their patients.

About 33 percent of the estimated 9 million adults with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) experience physical signs or symptoms of such intensity of frequency that they should seek medical help if they have not already done so.

Understanding and managing PAD is a process that requires specially trained medical practitioners who often use specific testing equipment to help determine the cause of the symptoms.

Usually patients will go to their GP when they experience episodes of leg pain, cramping or other signs of leg discomfort.  The GP normally refers that patient to a hospital vascular lab that specializes in the evolution and management of arterial leg pain.  But with new technology, we can now provide a baseline test in our office and still get immediate feedback from a specialist who will interpret the test

Leg pain can be caused by many different health disorders.  The diagnostic process begins with the practitioner taking a thorough medical history of the patient.  Based on the history, the practitioner will decide upon a course of action that may include further diagnostic testing.

 Diagnosing Leg Pain

Specialized equipment is sometimes called for when diagnosing PAD.  A new development in diagnostic technology well suited to GP offices is PADnet, which measures functional status of the limbsby recording segmental blood volume and communicates results immediately via a web interface to specialist for interpretation; these measurements provide practitioners with a clear measurable sign of what is going on with the patient’s lower extremity arterial systems.  PADnet is actually a group of tests that contributes to the overall diagnostic process.

Anyone experiencing leg pain or discomfort should first seek medical advice from his/her physician.  To ensure an accurate diagnosis, however, patients should speak to their doctors to see if they may be a candidate for a PADnet test.  For more information, contact your podiatrist. 


By Howard J. Tzorfas, D.P.M