Critical Limb Ischemia

Critical limb ischemia or CLI happens when the blood supply to your legs is blocked. It can cause pain and sores — especially in the feet and toes — that won’t heal. It sometimes results in amputation. CLI is different from claudication, because the pain happens when you are at rest. CLI is caused by vascular disease – namely peripheral vascular disease or PAD.

Critical limb ischemia symptoms

Know the symptoms of CLI and ask your doctor to check them out.

  • Pain in the legs and feet when they are at rest
  • Sores on the legs or feet that won’t heal
  • Discoloration of the feet and ankles
  • Shiny, smooth skin on the legs with loss of hair on the legs and shins
  • Thickening of toenails and failure of toenails to grow.

Critical limb ischemia risks

The risks for CLI are the same as those for other diseases related to atherosclerosis. African Americans and people over 50 have increased risk of CLI. You can't control your age or race, but you can control these risk factors:

Critical limb ischemia treatment

Our center provides comprehensive care for patients with advanced PAD who are close to losing their toes, feet or entire limbs. We employ all the latest tools, including medications, hyperbaric oxygen, surgical and nonsurgical processes to restore blood flow and save the limb.

Review the treatment options.