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Blue Toe Syndrome

When there is a lack of blood flow to the toes it is tissue ischemia, and the toes as result have a discoloration that is bluish in color. This is known as the blue toe syndrome.

There are several things that may cause this type of tissue ischemia. A blockage of vessels that are small and lead to the toes. In some cases, more than one toe can be affected and in some more severe case it can spread and show up as a multiple organ problem.

Minimal Causes

Blue toe syndrome can be caused by many different conditions. Commonly it is caused by tiny pieces of plaque of an artery. The abdominal aorta-iliac-femoral arterial system is the most common place where these pieces break away from. These are generally positioned in the groin areas as well as the area of the abdomen. They go through the arterial tree to the foot vessels and become lodged. This is known as an embolism. The tissue surrounded by this blockage turns a color that is bluish and the tissue is blue due to the lack of oxygen.

Individuals who are advanced in age usually from the forties to the sixties or older suffer more often with blue toe syndrome than others.

Affected Toes

When the toes have blue toe syndrome they are cyanotic. Some of these are caused by trauma as well as diseases of the tissue. This cause of blue toe syndrome is usually seen in individuals of a younger age that do not have any history of known diseases. Other blue toe syndromes may develop in persons with diabetes and also in persons who may have had some type of foot surgery.

Diagnosing and Treating the Syndrome

Blue toe syndrome is sometimes simply misdiagnosed in many cases. This happens when arteries are larger in the foot. When this is happening, the doctors are not aware of the disease of collusiveness. One of the treatments is to rid the blockage in the arterial tree with the placement of a stent. Sometimes bypass surgery and therapy of anticoagulation is used. A medication known as a vasodilator is often very effective in the condition’s treatment.

Disease Prognosis

Blue toe syndrome that only affects the toes often is easily cured. This will eventually disappear. The toe pain will become lessened over time and the individual’s physician will prescribe an appropriate type of pain relief medication. The blue toe syndrome that develops throughout other systems of the body is uncertain in progress and prognosis. It depends on each cases individuality. Whatever type of blue toe syndrome that one thinks they may have should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. If the condition is left untreated, it may turn into gangrene and the affected area of the foot such as the toes may need to be amputated.

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