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Ankle Brachial Index

AFM Healthcare -  - Family Medicine

AFM Healthcare

Family Medicine located in Winter Park, Oviedo, FL

If you experience weakness, numbness, or coldness in your legs or you’re at risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), the board-certified primary care team at AFM Healthcare, with two locations in  Winter Park and Oviedo, Florida, can help. They offer ankle brachial index (ABI) testing to assess blood flow and evaluate your risk of coronary artery disease. Call AFM Healthcare to schedule a screening, or book an appointment online today.

Ankle Brachial Index Q & A

What is an ankle brachial index test?

An ankle brachial index (ABI) test checks for peripheral artery disease (PAD) in your limbs by comparing the blood pressure in your arm with blood pressure in your ankle. 

Your provider divides your ankle blood pressure by the blood pressure in your arm to determine if you have PAD in blood vessels in your legs. With PAD, plaque builds up in arteries and reduces blood flow.

Is the ankle brachial index test right for me?

Your AFM specialist might recommend you undergo an ABI test if you experience painful cramping in your legs, numbness, weakness, coldness, changes in leg color, non-healing wounds, or other symptoms associated with PAD.

You might be a good candidate for the procedure if you have PAD risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or a family history of PAD.

What should I expect during an ABI test?

During an ankle brachial index test, you rest on a comfortable exam table on your back. Your provider evaluates blood pressure in your arms using a blood pressure cuff. They measure blood pressure just above each ankle and place an ultrasound probe over your artery to better evaluate blood flow.

Your primary care specialist might recommend you exercise after an initial ABI test, and repeat the test to see how exercise affects your results.

What happens after an ABI test?

After an ankle brachial index test, there’s no downtime required, so you can resume normal daily activities right away. Your provider might recommend a repeat ABI test or follow-up procedures, such as an arteriogram or MRI, to evaluate a blocked blood vessel.

If you have PAD, your doctor may recommend you undergo one of the following treatments:

  • Dietary changes
  • Increased physical activity
  • Treatments to lower blood pressure
  • Diabetes management
  • Smoking cessation
  • Medications to prevent blood clots
  • Minor surgical procedures to restore blood flow

They personalize each treatment to give you the best outcome and can refer you to specialists as needed to reduce your risk of serious complications.

If you’re at risk of PAD or experience new or unusual symptoms, call AFM Healthcare, or book an appointment online to find out if an ankle brachial index test is right for you.