What Are Treatments For Critical Limb Ischemia?

Sharing from William Rothwell, PHD:
“Hello …. some time ago I passed out and was found on my living room floor with my right hand under my chest. My circulation was entirely cut off to the limb. I was taken to the hospital where my hand and fingers were operated on to release the liquid that had built up. After the operation, my hand continued to give off fluid for a couple of months and needed to have it’s bandages changed twice a day. After a lot of therapy and healing time my hand began to regain its former self. I always forget the name of the operation to my hand and fingers could you possibly tell me what would be the name of the operation I went through. Thank you.”


Based on Rothwell’s description, the condition looks like a critical limb ischemia. Critical limb ischemia occurs when there are open sores that don’t heal, injuries, infections of your feet or legs, or infections progress and can cause tissue death (gangrene), sometimes requiring amputation of the affected limb.

Typical treatments of critical limb ischemia include revascularization to reperfuse the limb, via endovascular techniques and/or arterial surgery. The goals of treating critical limb ischemia are to relieve ischemic pain, heal ischemic ulcers, prevent limb loss, improve patient function and quality of life, and prolong survival. Revascularization could optimally achieve these goals. Endovascular techniques includes catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) or percutaneous-mechanical thrombectomy (PMT). If those do not work, a surgery called embolectomy will be provided to remove blood clots if there is any. After revascularization and reperfusion of an ischemic limb, reperfusion syndrome may develop, inflammation occurs.


We are sincerely grateful for Rothwell’s sharing story! We hope all the questions you raised and stories you shared could make a difference to those who are suffering from it. All your kind sharing or questioning is welcomed. Once again, HTQ is always available as long as you need us.

Leave a Reply