Poor circulation is the leading cause of limb amputations and many people are surprised to learn that you can take your pulse to measure your circulation in your feet.
Poor Circulation is a Risk for Amputation
As a podiatrist, I have identified many patients at risk for losing a limb, but with early detection, I’ve been able to work with interventional cardiologists and vascular surgeons to save patients from a tragic outcome. Good circulation sounds like this, below. The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) measurement provides the sound that leads to good care.
Diagnosis of Poor Circulation: Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)
The first step in the diagnosis is an ABI. Your healthcare provider can check the blood flow in your legs through the use of a blood pressure cuff. The cuff is placed on your ankle and a blood pressure reading is obtained. This value is compared to the blood pressure also taken in your arm. It is a simple, safe, and effective test that only takes a few minutes.
Save Your Soles recommends yearly ABIs for all black men over 50 due to the high rate of amputation suffered by this population. In addition to gender and race, here are additional risk factors for poor circulation:
- Smoking tobacco
- Age over 50
- Kidney disease
- High cholesterol
I encourage you to complete the risk assessment tool to determine if you should be discussing your circulation and being tested with your physician and/or podiatrist.
By: Dr. Ronald M. Renzi
Partner, Save Your Soles Podiatr