There's good news if you are one of the thousands of Oklahomans who suffer
from debilitating leg pain. One area hospital is offering a free screening that could ultimately mean relief.
It's easy to take walking for granted until this type of pain strikes. It can actually stop you in your tracks. Many people suffer from leg pain caused by peripheral vascular disease or what is more commonly known as hardening of the arteries. Dr. Tom White, medical director of radiology at St. John Medical Center, says many people suffer from the condition and don't even know it. "Many patients we see tend to think they're just getting old," he said. "They're having pain in their legs which means there is really something wrong."
Arteries which carry blood to the arms and legs may be clogged with plaque.
Clogged arteries can cause terrible pain, most often while walking. "Their legs are fine when they are sitting and resting," said Dr. White. "But when they get up to walk, their legs will cramp up on them."
A free and simple screening can determine if you have the condition. But the question is, who's the most at risk? At the top of the list are smokers. Others on the "at risk" list include folks over the age of 50, diabetics, individuals who are overweight or who don't exercise and people with a family history of hardening of the arteries. Doctors say you should get help for the condition because it can be dangerous. "The very worst scenario is that it can lead to limb loss and amputation," Dr. White said. "That's unusual, though."
Dr. White says most people can stabilize their condition with medication and learn to cope with the pain. The free screening will not only diagnose the problem, but may help doctors find a solution to your problem. St. John Medical Center will offer the free screening on Monday, September 13th. For more information, call the St John Pulse Line at 744-0123.