Pain can be caused by many reasons associated with the femoral artery. Pain is usually felt in the legs and feet as blockages of the femoral artery affect the ability of blood to flow down through the legs. There are a number of painful conditions associated with the femoral artery that can, in extreme cases, result in the death of tissue in the feet and toes.
The femoral artery supplies the skin of the groin and the lower abdominal wall with blood rich in oxygen and nutrients. The femoral artery and its branches pass closely to the outer surface of the thigh, providing blood to the muscles and tissue of this area.
Signs of Femoral Artery Blockage
There are many signs of femoral artery blockage, but not all are associated with pain. Painful symptoms include non-bleeding ulcers on the feet and toes that are difficult to heal, and withered calf muscles. Non-painful symptoms include tight, shiny skin on the legs and loss of hair over the feet and toes.
Peripheral Artery Disease
When the femoral artery becomes blocked, the legs do not receive enough oxygen or blood, causing an extremely painful condition called peripheral artery disease or leg artery disease. Peripheral artery disease causes discomfort or pain in walking. The pain can be felt in the hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, shins and upper feet.
Critical Limb Ischemia
As peripheral artery disease advances the condition, critical limb ischemia usually appears. As the femoral artery remains blocked, the legs do not receive enough oxygen even when resting, creating constant pain in the feet and toes of the sufferer. If the circulation is not improved, sores on the toes and feet can become ulcers and eventually may lead to dead tissue, or gangrene.
Ischemic Rest Pain
Ischemia is the medical term for insufficient blood flow to the tissues, which in this case means the tissues of the feet and toes. Ischemic rest pain, the result of a blocked femoral artery, is pain in the feet and toes. Severe cases of the condition leave sufferers feeling pain from the weight of clothes and bed sheets.
Intermittent Claudicating (IC)
Another condition that is a result of a blocked femoral artery, IC brings early symptoms of pain or discomfort in the legs when walking that disappears when resting. As the condition worsens, pain is felt when walking much shorter distances and is felt more quickly when walking uphill or up stairs.