Critical limb (threatening) ischaemia
Critical limb (leg) ischaemia is a surgical condition where the tissues that make up the leg (skin, nerves, muscles) are no longer receiving adequate blood flow to maintain their normal function even when at rest.
Individuals often complain of a constant, disabling pain affecting their foot, calf and/or thigh, that has been present for a sustained period of time e.g. more than two weeks. This is frequently accompanied by skin ulceration, blackening (gangrene) of the toes and/or foot, pins and needles, and infection resistant to antibiotics.
The causes of critical limb ischaemia mirror those of intermittent claudication and are predominantly related to atherosclerotic (fatty deposits) plaque build-up within arteries: peripheral arterial disease. Unlike intermittent claudication, critical limb ischaemia left untreated is associated with a high rate (>50%) of amputation over the following 12-month period, and therefore should be investigated and treated with appropriate urgency.
The experts at Circulation Clinic are nationally recognised in limb salvage surgery to provide patients with a timely assessment and treatment plan maximising the chance of avoiding major amputation.