Claudication


By Bryan C. Kramer, MD - February 24, 2020

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Claudication
  • Muscle pain, cramping, or fatigue that occurs EVERY TIME you walk the same distance- might start at shorter distance if you are going uphill or at faster pace.
  • Usually occurs in the calves, thighs, or buttocks
  • Eventually the pain causes you to stop and rest- after a few minutes, you can walk the same distance again.
  • Typically limits walking to 1-5 city blocks before stopping.
  • When you walk, your muscles need more blood and oxygen.  If your arteries are narrowed or blocked, they cannot deliver enough oxygen to meet the muscle’s need.
  • Claudication does NOT cause pain in muscles at rest in any position, or pain when changing position, like sitting to standing.  It only happens with exercise when the muscles are working and need more oxygen. 
  • Claudication is NOT A LIMB THREATENING CONDITION BY ITSELF
  • If you are experiencing these types of symptoms, you should see a vascular surgeon.
  • You may not need anything done, but identifying this problem can help to prevent it from getting worse and progressing to a limb threatening situation.
  • If Claudication is really limiting your daily life, it CAN BE TREATED with medication, minimally invasive balloons and stents, or bypass surgery if necessary.  
  • A vascular surgeon is the only doctor who is an expert at ALL the treatments for PAD, and can help you choose the right treatment, or none at all.  

                                Bryan C. Kramer, MD