Sometimes blockages in the arteries limit the flow of blood to your limbs, typically causing pain in your legs; this is called peripheral artery disease (PAD). There are several ways to treat PAD and the right choice has a lot to do with a person’s preferences. To help individuals with PAD work with their doctor to decide which treatment is best for them, the Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Treatment Choices for Peripheral Artery Disease.
This program is for individuals 40 and older who have been diagnosed with PAD and who have pain while walking that resolves with rest. It is not for people with critical limb ischemia, leg amputation or thromboangitis obliterans.
The program helps people understand what PAD is and the treatment choices. It describes three types of treatments, including walking programs, medications and procedures (leg angioplasty and leg bypass surgery) that can relieve leg pain and help people with PAD walk longer. This program also discusses the recommended order of treatments, combination therapy, and other treatments and considerations for people with PAD. Additional resources include a walking log to help track one’s progress in a walking program, guidelines for walking on your own outdoors or on a treadmill, and a list of questions to ask your primary care doctor or vascular specialist.
Because people who have PAD are at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke than people who do not have PAD, the program also summarizes how people can reduce these risks.
The program features real patients who describe the decisions they made to manage their PAD symptoms. It also includes interviews with a primary care provider and a vascular specialist who provide the clinician’s perspective on the options for managing PAD.
This program was developed with our production partner, Health Dialog. It is available as a booklet and a web-based program (Health Crossroads®) for Health Dialog members.