My Legs feel heavy and tired after walking and exercise

Question: 

I RECENTLY HAD A CT SCAN AND IT READ THAT THERE IS SOME CALIFICATION IN THE AORTAILIAC BIFURCATION.  IS THAT SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED FURTHER OR IS IT NORMAL FOR SOMEONE AGE 51? MY LEGS DO FEEL HEAVY AND TIRED AFTER WALKING OR DOING ANY EXERCISE.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ANY HELP.

Hi Teresa,
Your symptoms and the CT scan results are suggestive of a blockage in your aorta called Leriche Syndrome, which often occurs in patients with abnormal cholesterol, atherosclerosis, hypertension and heavy smoking.


Aortoiliac occlusive disease occurs when your iliac arteries become narrowed or blocked. The aorta, your body's main artery, splits into branches at about the level of your belly button. These branches are called the iliac arteries. The iliac arteries go through your pelvis into your legs, where they divide into many smaller arteries that run down to your toes. Aortoiliac disease is considered a type of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) because it affects arteries, which are blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart to your limbs. Leriche syndrome, also referred to as aortoiliac occlusive disease, is caused by "Atheromatous occlusion of the distal abdominal aorta at the bifurcation into the common iliac arteries".

Symptoms and findings include:

  • Claudication (ischemic pain), which is fatigue and pain in both legs and/or buttocks, due to lack of adequate blood supply and made worse with exercise
  • Absent or diminished femoral pulses, along with pallor or coldness of both lower legs
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) in male patients
  • Usually affects younger males ages 30-40

Because development of the disease is slow and collaterals develop, limb-threatening ischemic disease does not tend to occur. Imaging can be done with non-invasive methods such as MRI and CT angiography or through arterial duplex scanning of the lower legs

Treatment is aortoiliac bypass:

It also means you are at risk for heart disease and should have this checked out as well. You can calculate your risk here.
You definitely need to have this checked out.

(Images and some text from:

1. Leriche Syndrome

2. Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease

Hope this helps,

Dr T

 

Comments

i have these symtoms ... i have a AAA a year and half ago, and it was very hard to take i was out of work for 6 weeks.....will i have to go through this again ??

Hi Syd,

You definitely need to be checked with an ultrasound study of the arteries to your legs.

Hope this helps,

Dr T

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