A vascular stenosis is a narrowing or constriction of a vessel. If the pelvic or leg arteries are affected, the vascular stenosis results in a blood circulatory disorder of the legs. The blood flow to the muscles is not sufficient, especially if performing activities involving leg muscles to a great extent. This can cause different symptoms.
Symptoms stenosis pelvic artery / stenosis leg artery
The stenosis of the pelvic artery or the leg artery often does not cause any symptoms in the beginning, and it is, thus, often overseen. A progressive narrowing of pelvic and leg vessels can result in pain in the buttocks and the upper as well as lower leg. This pain is often described as cramp-like and occurs while walking, jogging, climbing stairs or riding the bike. The pain stops after a short while in most cases, but the nonstop walking distance without pain gets shorter, which is called claudicatio intermittens. Legs can also feel cold or dumb as a consequence of the circulatory problems. If the pelvic artery is severely affected by stenosis, erectile dysfunction can emerge in male patients. Progressive stenosis of pelvic artery and leg artery can also cause pain while resting. Over a long period of a progressive vascular stenosis, inflammations can occur, or limbs can even necrotize, indicated by a dark to black color of the skin of corresponding parts of the body.
The symptoms of the stenosis of pelvic artery/leg artery in short:
- pain of the lower extremities while walking, jogging, climbing stairs or riding the bike
- ease of pain after short breaks
- shortening of walking distance
- cold/dumb legs
- in case of progressive stenosis of pelvic artery: erectile dysfunction in male patients
- in case of progressive vascular stenosis: pain while resting
- in case of progressive vascular stenosis: necrosis of limbs, dark to black color of affected parts of the body
During a long-term stenosis, it is possible that fat or other substances that have settled on the vascular wall break away and increase the risk of a myocardial infarction or an apoplectic stroke.
Causes stenosis pelvic artery / stenosis leg artery
The main cause of the stenosis of the pelvic or leg artery is arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is a term for a vascular disease during which the condition of arteries, especially the vascular wall, worsens over a long period of time. This worsening is caused by the thickening of the artery wall due to fat, soft tissue, calcification or blood clots. This process can be triggered by the interplay of genes, overweight, very fatty and sugary nutrition, smoking, lack of motion/exercise and other diseases like congenital vascular malformation, diabetes or increased blood pressure. Men in their second half of their life seem to develop arteriosclerosis more often.
Diagnostics stenosis pelvic artery / stenosis leg artery
Stenosis of pelvic artery or stenosis of leg artery can be diagnosed as a result of a comprehensive consultation often including imaging procedures like ultrasound, angiography or MR angiography. Whereas MRI and ultrasound are non-invasive procedures, angiography is an invasive diagnostic means. If the vascular condition cannot be evaluated sufficiently by MRI or ultrasound examination, but a vascular stenosis is assumed, an angiographic examination can be indicated. The individual symptoms in combination with the examination results help classifying the vascular stenosis: Vascular stenosis without further symptoms (state I), with symptoms but a walking distance of more than 200 m (~220 yards, state IIa), less than 200 m (~220 yards, state IIb) and already progressive, critical disorders (state III and IV). The diagnosis is the foundation of the therapy.
All examinations can be carried out at Beta Klinik. Read more about our diagnostics.
Therapy stenosis pelvic artery / stenosis leg artery
The best therapy for the stenosis of pelvic artery or stenosis of leg artery is prevention. This is possible by sports activities on a regular basis, endurance sports, healthy nutrition, reduction of (over)weight and giving up smoking. In case the condition of the vessels has already worsened, severe symptoms have occurred, the medical treatment has not been successful, only surgery and the subsequent drug therapy (inhibit clot formation, antiplatelet drugs) are promising. At Beta Klinik, vascular surgery is minimally invasive. The treatment of the stenosis of pelvic artery or stenosis of leg artery is endovascular surgery. Endovascular means that the treatment takes places within the vessels over a catheter through the femoral artery using a balloon or stents. Balloons can dilate the vessels. Subject to the state of the stenosis, a stent can be placed. A stent is a small tube dilating the vessel permanently. A new technique is the treatment with drug eluting balloons (DEB), which set drugs free while dilating the vessel. These drugs should prevent the vessels from the settling of substances at the vascular wall.
Read more about the minimally invasive, endovascular therapy of the stenosis of pelvic artery / stenosis of leg artery