What is segmental pressure testing (lower extremity physiologic testing)?
Evaluation of the arterial supply to the lower limbs is done by measuring blood pressures at various levels and by evaluation of the arterial pulse characteristics. Blood flow is evaluated with an ultrasound Doppler flow detector. Arterial pressures in the lower extremities are compared to the pressures measured in the arms.
What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?
PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop peripheral artery disease, your extremities, usually your legs, don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking.
What are the symptoms of PAD, and what are the indications that a peripheral arterial evaluation is needed?
While many people with peripheral artery disease have mild or no symptoms, some people have leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication). Intermittent claudication symptoms include muscle pain or cramping in your legs or arms that’s triggered by activity, such as walking, but disappears after a few minutes of rest. The location of the pain depends on the location of the clogged or narrowed artery. Calf pain is most common; however pain may also be felt in the hips, buttocks, and thighs. The severity of intermittent claudication varies widely, from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Severe intermittent claudication can make it hard for you to walk or do other types of physical activity.
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other leg
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
What can I expect during the exam?
A complete examination of both extremities takes approximately 60 minutes. It is performed in a private room lying on an exam table. A technologist will place pressure cuffs on the arms, legs, and toes to obtain pulse readings and blood pressures of the extremities.
- Allow 60 minutes for a segmental pressure exam.
- No smoking for at least an hour before the test.
- Please wear loose collar or button up shirt with short sleeves if your arms are to be examined.
- For leg studies you will remove your pants, socks & shoes.
Please call us with any questions or to schedule an appointment for a Fort Myers segmental pressure test: (239) 694-8346