The Acute Cold Leg

  • Theodore J. Saclarides


The patient who presents with a cold lower extremity is examined with special attention to the “five P’s” as follows:

Pain of the extremity is usually constant and is associated with movement. It may be relieved by placing the extremity in a dependent position. Pallor is characterized by a pale tone to the extremity below the site of obstruction. Refill of superficial veins is sluggish or absent. Pulselessness is characterized by the absence of arterial pulses below the site of occlusion. Paresthesia occurs as a result of peripheral nerve anoxia resulting in numbness. This is an early and sensitive sign of diminished arterial blood supply. Paralysis is a very late and ominous sign. Patients with paralysis may have necrotic muscle and are at risk of losing the extremity.


Thrombolytic Therapy Arterial Blood Supply Arterial Insufficiency Autologous Vein Ominous Sign 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore J. Saclarides

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