People with diabetes often have varying degrees of circulation disorders to their legs and feet due to atherosclerosis and blockage of arteries. Common symptoms of peripheral vascular disease are cramping in the calf or buttocks when walking. Temperature and color changes in the feet, in addition to loss of hair and thickening of toenails, might also be attributed to circulatory changes.
Poor circulation results in reduced blood flow to the feet. Adequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients, which are required for normal maintenance and repair, is then restricted. This becomes critical when the foot is injured, infected, or ulcerated, since healing will be impaired or will not occur at all. Long a major cause of lower extremity amputation, peripheral vascular disease can now be frequently corrected by vascular bypass operations in the legs. This is similar to those operations performed in the heart for blocked arteries