Doctor treating PAD with angioplasty through the ankle - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Providence doctor treating PAD with angioplasty through the ankle

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Patrick Alexander is treating PAD with angioplasty through the ankle. Dr. Patrick Alexander is treating PAD with angioplasty through the ankle.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

The heart pumps blood through the arteries in your legs, some as think as spaghetti, until there is a blockage.  Then there is a real problem.

He calls himself a youthful 75, but the truth is Timmie Quinn of Southfield recently was feeling well past his years.

"It was getting extremely difficult for me to go up and down the steps to the second floor, and I had to keep using my wife's hot water bottle in order to alleviate the pain for a few minutes," he explained.

It didn't take long for Dr. Patrick Alexander at Providence Hospital to determine Quinn was suffering from peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD.  It's a clogged artery that is not in your heart.

"The first sign is muscle pain because the muscles are not receiving the amount of oxygen and nutrients they need," Alexander said.

PAD affects eight million people, most over the age of 60.  Key risk factors include smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.

"If you can't walk 10 or 15 feet without feeling your muscles burning and cramping and then they go away when you stop and then they come back again when you walk, that's fairly classic for peripheral arterial disease," said Alexander.

One treatment -- angioplasty -- involves snaking a wire through the groin down through the arteries in the legs.  However, Dr. Alexander and a handful of others are finding success with a different route going up through the ankle.

"We found that you do have a slightly higher chance to negotiate through those blockages simply by going in the opposite direction," Alexander said.

Now Quinn is moving better and in far less pain.

"It's a vast improvement," he said.

Preventing PAD means eating right and exercising.  Remember, the healthier your heart, the lower your risk.

  • Deena CentofantiMore>>

  • Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Thursday, October 3 2013 6:30 PM EDT2013-10-03 22:30:09 GMT
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
  • The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 5:24 PM EDT2013-03-26 21:24:38 GMT
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
  • Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Tuesday, December 4 2012 4:11 PM EST2012-12-04 21:11:01 GMT
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices