“It saved my leg,” said Curtis King, a 60-year-old Hickory
resident diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
“Sores on the top of my left foot and between my toes were causing
so much pain that it was impossible for me to wear shoes or walk. My toes
were turning black and I lost feeling in my feet and lower leg because
they weren’t getting circulation.”
Curtis’ sister had a leg amputated before losing her life as a result
of complications associated with blocked arteries at an early age, so
when he began experiencing symptoms, he didn’t wait to make an appointment
with his primary care physician. PAD, which typically starts in the toes
and moves up the body, can affect the foot, ankle and leg. It can also
be an early sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in
arteries that prevents proper blood flow to the heart and brain.
Speak to your medical provider if you experience any of the following symptoms
of peripheral artery disease: relentless leg pain; foot or toe wounds
that won’t heal; gangrene; a marked decrease in the temperature
of the lower leg or foot, particularly compared to the other leg or to
the rest of the body.
Curtis was treated by Dr. Seth Weaver, a podiatric surgeon at the CVMC
Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics who made every attempt to heal the chronic foot ulcers. After his left
toes were amputated in January, Curtis became the first patient in Western
North Carolina to receive a new procedure approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for PAD patients. Christopher Griggs, DO and Gary
McDougal, MD of
Catawba Valley Vascular Surgery were trained and approved to perform the minimally invasive drug-coated
balloon procedure. Both are reporting successful patient outcomes, with
Curtis being the first patient to undergo the simple procedure in January
2015. Dr. Griggs restored blood flow to Curtis’ lower limbs by reopening
blocked arteries and delivering a medication using a drug coated balloon
to prevent future narrowing in the arteries.
“We are excited to offer this advanced technology to help address
the growing number of patients in our community who have circulatory disease.
These patients often experience serious and painful symptoms,” said
Dr. Griggs. “The drug coated balloon approach offers significant
advantages over traditional options such as vascular bypass surgery, medications
or a combination of balloons and stents because it not only clears the
initial blockage, but also works proactively to prevent future blockages.”
Within a week after surgery, Curtis regained feeling in his lower leg and
started a series of 18 consecutive treatments in a hyperbaric chamber
at the wound center where he also received wound care and had the site
examined regularly. With his foot wound now 90% healed, he has regained
most function and has been doing physical therapy for his foot and lower
leg. An avid Washington Redskins fan, he also has his sights set on getting
tickets to an NFL game during the upcoming football season.
Tobacco use, obesity, high cholesterol and physical inactivity are all
risk factors for PAD. For more information about the special services
Catawba Valley Vascular Surgery or provided by its physicians at CVMC, please contact our office located
at 899 Tate Blvd SE Suite 2106, Hickory, NC 28602 at 828.322.9105.