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Peripheral Artery Disease Leading to the Need for Social Security Disability

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | May 08, 2013 | 0 Comments

Peripheral Artery Disease Leading to the Need for Social Security Disability

Peripheral artery disease “is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to an individual's limbs.” An individual doesn't receive enough blood flow to legs or arms due to fatty deposits in arteries (atherosclerosis). PAD is known to cause limits to mobility, pain, and poor circulation. Symptoms Many people with PAD do not experience any symptoms. Some symptoms that are common are pain or cramping in arms or legs. Sometimes the pain occurs while exercising, called intermittent claudication, while sometimes it occurs during rest, called rest pain. Other symptoms include · Numbness of the extremities. · Weakness and atrophy (diminished size and strength) of the calf muscle. · A feeling of coldness in the legs or feet. · Changes in the color of the feet; feet turn pale when they are elevated, turn dusky red in dependent position. · Hair loss over the dorsum of the feet and thickening of the toenails. · Painful ulcers and/or gangrene in tissue where there is critical ischemia (lack of blood and oxygen), typically in the toes. (See WebMD) What are some of the risk factors? Men are more prone to develop PAD than women. The older an individual is, the higher the risk of developing PAD. High LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol are known risks. Cigarette smoking, Diabetes Type1 and Type 2, high blood pressure, and a family history or high blood pressure and/or atherosclerosis are risk factors. Other risk factors include chronic renal failure, being overweight or obese, and physical inactivity. Diagnosis A doctor looks for weak or absent artery pulses in arms or legs during a physical examination. Blood pressure differences between limbs while at rest or while exercising is something else doctors look for. Doctors also look for skin color and nail color changes due to lack of blood and oxygen. If a doctor sees any of these physical signs and a full health history is taken, the doctor may order some imaging testing to assist in a proper diagnosis. One test is a Doppler ultrasound that is used to measure blood pressure behind the knees and at the ankles. A doctor can also use a duplex ultrasound where “ultrasound probes are placed on the skin overlying the arteries and can accurately detect the site of artery” blockage as well as how much blockage. Angiography is also used to study blood vessel occlusions. Angiography is done by inserting a catheter into the arteries through a small incision and viewing the blood vessel walls as the catheter is advanced to the heart. Sometimes an iodine contrast dye is injected into the arteries and then x-ray recorded to give a picture of the location and severity of the blockages. Angiography can also be done with an MRI producing images on a computer and does not expose the patient to x-ray radiation exposure. How to Get Social Security Disability Approval The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires complete medical records when submitting an application for Social Security Disability. The SSA spells out medical sources they will accept to prove any diagnosis. An individual claiming loss of function due to PAD must show that one or more personal functions has been limited by PAD. If you are considering applying for disability benefits in Georgia, you should contact our experienced Atlanta SS attorney. See Related Posts: Social Security Disability for Crohn's Disease

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.