Posted By CCF Cardio MD-APS on October 08, 1997 at 16:04:47:
In Reply to: leg cramps (partially blocked arteries) posted by Jo ANn Christina on September 29, 1997 at 17:23:53:
: In searching for information concerning leg and foot cramps for my
86-year-old stepfather, I came across your web page and article called
"Leg cramps may warn of blocked arteries." This is in fact a contributing
factor in his (Jack Bates') case. He has been told he has intermittent
claudication, and all that is suggested is that he walk as much as
possible. Jack also had a heart attack in February, and is currently
taking medication and being monitored by a heart specialist. His heart
is weak (apparently too weak for surgery); part of his problem is
combatting congestive heart failure; there is some damage to the heart,
and two leaky valves. Also, he smoked until he was 65, which has not
helped his circulation.
His leg and foot cramps are now so bad that he almost never gets a good
night's sleep, and must often get up and rub his legs and feet, or walk
around. He dozes during the day in a recliner to catch up on his sleep.
Your article mentioned other effective treatments than surgery. Could
you possibly describe them, so we could mention them to Jack's doctors?
It's possible that he's getting the best possible care, but then again,
no one is mentioning anything except walking, and it's nice to have
information from outside his current system.
Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your help.
Jo Ann Christina
Dear Jo Ann,
Firstly I am not sure what article you are referring to in your question regarding your step-father's leg cramps. Claudication is leg pain resulting from decreased blood and oxygen supply to the muscles of the legs, hence it is usually worse with any exercise, even just walking, and always relieved with rest of those(leg)muscles.
Leg cramps at night are common in the elderly and sometimes are relieved with quinine, a medication that requires a precription mainly because, as with most medicines, there are potential side effects that depend on the patient's other medical conditions as well as the other medications he|she is taking.
If you would like your step-father to be evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic by a cardiologist for his heart disease or by a vascular medicine physician for his claudication just call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment.
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