In peripheral arterial disease (PAD) there is a buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries. The narrowed arteries prevent blood from getting to the muscle of the leg, and the muscle then has difficulty performing when it's being asked to do some activity and not getting enough fuel. The leg hurts and becomes weak.
It's important to know that PAD is not limited to the peripheral arteries. Plaque buildup is also present in the coronary arteries. Therefore, people who have PAD (or think they may have it) should be evaluated for high cholesterol and coronary artery disease.
More Answers from Barry L. Molk, MD