PAD is a specific type of atherosclerosis or hardening of leg arteries. It occurs when plaque (a substance made of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue) builds up in blood vessels.
A more serious type of PAD is called critical limb ischemia (CLI). CLI involves more significant blockage in the legs’ arteries. It can cause severe pain in legs, feet or toes. With CLI, you may develop sores or wounds that do not heal. Over time, it can lead to a need for amputation.