Buerger's Disease

Buerger's disease is a disorder in which the immune system attacks one's own small and medium-sized arteries, veins, and nerves. The cause is unknown however there is a strong association with tobacco use or even just exposure to tobacco. The arteries of the arms and legs become narrowed and sometimes blocked, causing decreased blood supply (ischemia) to the toes, feet, fingers, and hands. Pain occurs in the arms, hands, legs, and feet, even at rest. Gangrene (tissue death) can result requiring amputation of the fingers and toes if the blockage or narrowing of the arteries is severe. Inflammation of superficial veins also occurs commonly in patients with Buerger's disease. Avoid even just exposure to tobacco.

Jose Veliz MD is the medical director of Palomar Spine & Pain, in Escondido, CA (North San Diego County).

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