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Atherosclerosis of the extremities is a disease of the peripheral blood vessels that is characterized by narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet. The narrowing of the arteries causes a decrease in blood flow. Symptoms include muscle cramps triggered by exercise in the thighs, calves, or feet and leg or foot pain, numbness, and cold legs or feet.
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.