Arterial Blockage in the Legs: Understanding, Prevention, and Treatment (Pedes Orange County’s Guide)

Published On: November 9th, 2023Categories: Treatments7.8 min read

Imagine this: You’re strolling along, enjoying a beautiful day, when suddenly, your legs start protesting like they’re on strike. They ache, cramp, and might even feel as cold as ice. What’s happening?

These symptoms could be red flags for a blocked artery in your leg. In this guide, we will explore peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD occurs when the arteries in your legs and feet become narrow or blocked. Welcome to the Pedes Orange County Guide, where we shed light on arterial blockages and how to deal with them.

Arterial Blockage in the Legs

A blocked leg artery occurs when blood vessels that supply blood to the legs are partially or fully blocked. This can happen to one or more blood vessels. Atherosclerosis occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances accumulate inside the arteries, causing blockage. When this happens, the flow of blood to your legs is restricted, leading to a range of symptoms and potential complications.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a medical term used to describe this condition. It specifically refers to the narrowing or blockage of arteries in the extremities, such as the legs and feet. PAD is typically a result of atherosclerosis, and it’s a form of cardiovascular disease. When the arteries in your legs and feet become narrow or blocked due to PAD, it can lead to various health issues and discomfort.

The narrowing or blockage of arteries in your legs and feet can have several consequences:

  1. Less blood flow: When the arteries get smaller or blocked, less oxygen-rich blood goes to your legs and feet. This reduced blood flow can result in symptoms like leg pain, cramping, and discomfort, especially during physical activity.
  2. Intermittent Claudication: PAD causes leg pain during exercise, known as intermittent claudication, which goes away when resting.
  3. Blockages can restrict blood flow to your leg tissues. This restriction can result in damage and wounds that don’t heal. In severe cases, it can even lead to gangrene.
  4. Untreated PAD can lead to amputation risk. Limited blood flow can harm the limb and cause irreversible damage.


A blocked artery in your leg is when the arteries supplying your legs and feet become narrowed or blocked. This is often linked to peripheral artery disease (PAD). It causes less blood flow, discomfort, and possible complications.

Symptoms of a Blocked Artery in the Leg

Sometimes our bodies can be dramatic and let us know when something is wrong. When it comes to a blocked artery in the leg, there are a few ways to make sure you pay attention.

Pain and Cramping: One of the telltale signs of a blocked artery in the leg is the sensation of pain or cramping. Your legs and feet may feel like they’ve turned into lead weights. It’s almost as if your lower extremities have decided to go on strike. This discomfort is worse when you walk or do physical activity and gets better when you rest your tired legs.

Cold Feet, literally: Ever felt like your feet were auditioning for a role in an ice cube commercial? Coldness in the feet and toes is another common symptom of a blocked leg artery. Your toes might be channeling their inner popsicles, even on a warm day.

The Awkward Feeling of Numbness and Tingling: Numbness and tingling in the feet and toes can be a result of poor blood circulation. It’s like your feet are trying out that “pins and needles” sensation just for fun. Unfortunately, it’s not fun at all.

Stubborn Sores: Some leg and foot sores just don’t want to heal, and it’s not because they have commitment issues. In the presence of a blocked artery, these sores may be deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need to mend, resulting in a frustratingly slow healing process.

Skin Shapeshifting: Changes in the color or texture of the skin on your legs and feet may occur when an artery is blocked. Your skin might get all artistic, showing off shades you never thought it could pull off. Jokes aside, these skin changes are crucial signs of circulatory problems in your legs.


Common Causes of a Blocked Artery in the Leg

Blocked arteries don’t just happen overnight. There’s often a backstory that involves some less-than-ideal lifestyle choices and underlying medical conditions.

  1. Atherosclerosis
  2. Blood Clots
  3. Diabetes
  4. High Blood Pressure
  5. High Cholesterol
  6. Smoking
  7. Injury to the Leg or Foot


Treating a Blocked Artery in the Leg

The treatment for a blocked artery in the leg depends on the severity of the condition. Here’s where the plot thickens, and your choices may include lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive procedures, or surgery. Sometimes, your leg arteries just need a little lifestyle makeover.

  • Quitting Smoking: Smoking is like the arch-nemesis of your arteries. Quitting this habit can make a significant difference in improving blood flow and preventing further damage.
  • Eating a Healthy Diet: Your diet can influence your artery health. Opt for foods that support heart health, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
  • Regular Exercise: Exercise can get your blood pumping and improve circulation. Just make sure you don’t overdo it; your legs will thank you for it.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can put additional strain on your leg arteries. Shedding some pounds can ease the burden on your lower limbs.
  • Managing High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Diabetes: Controlling these conditions can help reduce the risk of further artery blockages. It’s like having an internal security system for your legs.


Minimally Invasive Procedures: At Pedes Orange County

Arterial Treatment

In some cases, a more direct approach is needed. Minimally invasive procedures can help clear the path for better blood flow.

At Pedes Orange County, we provide individualized arterial treatment options that help in minimizing pain, curing sores, and preventing limb amputation. Our main goal is to stop the disease progression and improve your overall well-being.

Our patient care does not stop after you walk out of our facilities. We schedule follow-up appointments that help us to evaluate the results and recovery.

Our friendly physicians and staff members will also provide you with answers to your concerns or questions after every appointment, diagnostic tests, and medical procedure. We strive to offer all our patients the best possible results, allowing patients to get back on their feet within a short period.


Also called percutaneous transluminal Angioplasty (PTA), Angioplasty is a medical procedure performed using a catheter. A catheter is usually a thin, flexible tube inserted through an artery and guided by imaging to the narrowed section of the artery. Once the tip of the catheter reaches the narrowed section, the small balloon at the end inflates for a short period.

The pressure created by the inflated balloon usually presses the plaque against the artery wall. This procedure will help to widen the arteries, restoring normal blood flow.


A lower extremity atherectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving a catheter to remove plaque from arteries. The doctor usually makes a small incision in the artery to insert the catheter. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia to prevent pain.

A catheter collects removed plaque in a chamber placed at its tip, ensuring that all the particles are removed from the artery. Depending on the amount of plaque in your arteries, your doctor will repeat the procedure several times to ensure optimal blood flow.


Stenting is a procedure that is performed in combination with Angioplasty and atherectomy. Years of plaque buildup damage the artery walls. Even after cleaning the artery, the walls are often too weak to stay open.

Stenting is a procedure that helps support the blood vessel walls, preventing them from closing after removing the plaque. The procedure involved placing a small mesh tube inside the artery to offer rigid support.

Book an Appointment Now

Whether you’re experiencing ordinary leg pain, blockage, or facing a serious arterial disease, it’s crucial to seek expert guidance. Contact us now to book an appointment and learn more about your condition and the treatment options available. Don’t let a blocked artery in your leg keep you from living your best, pain-free life!

Learn More

To ensure the information is valuable and trustworthy, we have included three inbound links to various informative pages on PEDES Orange County. These links will guide you to in-depth articles related to each section of this guide.


FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) 

  1. What are the risk factors for developing a blocked artery in the leg?

A blocked leg artery can be caused by several factors. These include atherosclerosis, blood clots, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and leg or foot injuries.

  1. Is it possible to prevent a blocked artery in the leg?

Yes, you can take steps to prevent a blocked artery in the leg by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

For more information on maintaining a healthy vascular system and other related topics, visit our website at for personal care and doctor consultation, click here.  feel free to visit our office at 1400 Reynolds Ave Suite 110, Irvine, CA 92614