Vascular Disorders


Vascular disorders are problems with arteries and veins.  Arteries are pipes that bring oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the fingers.  Veins are pipes that return the used blood back to the heart and lungs. At the wrist, the radial and ulnar arteries bring blood into the hand. These arteries connect into two arches that branch out to supply blood to each of the fingers (Figure 1).  

These disorders are less common in the upper extremities (arms) than in the lower extremities (legs), but they still affect about 10% of people.  They can cause problems such as pain, open wounds, or even loss of body parts.