Circulation Problems (Peripheral Arterial Disease)

Severe leg cramps while walking are not a “normal” part of aging or weight gain. They can be a symptom of diseased or blocked arteries in the legs, known as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). This condition affects more than 8 million Americans—and can lead to more serious problems such as stroke or heart attack.

Dr. Polyxene (Polly) Kokinos and her team at South Bay Vascular are experts on diagnosing and treating patients with PAD. Our state-of-the-art facility was specifically designed as a PAD treatment center, including a vascular ultrasound lab and specialized surgical center. We have the experience and expertise to rejuvenate your legs—and revitalize your life. We can help!

Make an appointment today!
Call 408-376-3626


Many people suffer from pain with walking. When it is related to problems in circulation to your legs, it is called Claudication and generally presents as cramping in your buttock, thigh, or calf after a certain distance is walked.

The pain recurs almost every time you try to walk that distance, but will go away in under a minute if you stop walking and take a rest. Then you can walk again, for about the same distance. It does not happen if you are just sitting or standing.

This occurs because of the build-up of plaque, or fatty deposits, on the inside of your blood vessels. This type of plaque build-up, or hardening of the arteries, is also a sign of a potential problem in your heart arteries and thus of increased risk for a heart attack.

There are of course many factors that may cause leg pain (including back problems or arthritis). If the pain affects the quality of your daily life and limits your activity, it is important to get checked out by your primary care doctor and request referral to a vascular surgeon. A non-invasive vascular ultrasound can easily rule in or out the presence of an arterial issue.

Risk Factors

  • Cigarette smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Advanced age


There are multiple options for treatment of PAD, ranging from medical interventions to surgical revascularization and endovascular therapy. The experienced Vascular Surgeons at South Bay Vascular are uniquely qualified and trained to treat patients diagnosed with PAD.

Approaches to treatment may include:

  • Minimally invasive endovascular procedures
  • Medical management
  • Exercise and lifestyle modifications
  • Surgical bypass amputation

South Bay Vascular is recognized as the leading regional treatment center for patients suffering from Peripheral Arterial Disease. With our specialized training and state-of-the-art facility, we offer patients a unique alternative to a hospital setting and provide the highest level of care for the treatment of PAD as an alternative to limb amputation.

If you or a loved one suffers from PAD, call our office today at 408-376-3626 to schedule a visit.

For more information about pain while walking and PAD, see our blog articles:

“Dr. Kokinos gave me back my legs by putting a stent in my artery. I can walk without pain again!”

– SBVC patient

“Dr. Kokinos has been treating my vascular problems for at least 5 years. I am able to walk without pain in my legs now after femoral bypass surgery and a few stents to open clogged arteries. She is a great surgeon and I trust her completely. The office personnel are always pleasant and helpful.”

– SBVC patient