Buerger’s disease


Buerger’s disease, also referred to as thromboangiitis obliterans, is a rare condition that primarily affects the blood vessels in the arms, legs, fingers, and toes. This disease involves inflammation of the blood vessels, which hampers the smooth flow of blood through them. As a result, blockages can occur within the vessels due to the formation of blood clots.

Buerger disease causes pain and tissue damage that begins in the fingers and toes and spreads to the arms and legs. Buerger’s disease typically presents its initial symptoms in the foot region. The injury can cause infection and death of body tissue (gangrene). This happens due to lack of blood flow damages or destroys skin tissue over time.

The most effective approach to alleviate the symptoms of Buerger’s disease is often to quit smoking. Individuals who continue smoking may eventually require surgical intervention to remove affected fingers and toes. This condition predominantly affects individuals who smoke cigarettes or use different forms of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco.


Severe pain in the arms and legs is one of the first indicators of Buerger’s illness. This ache occurs when the body is at rest. The symptoms appear gradually over time. It may include:

  • Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in the fingers or toes.Raynaud’s syndrome, a disorder that affects small blood vessels in your fingers and toes. It causes the fingers and toes to turn white then blue when exposed to cold. Such color changes may be more or less visible depending on one’s skin tone.
  • Skin color changes in the hands and feet. The skin can appear pale gray, red, or blue.
  • Walking causes ankle, foot, or leg pain.
  • Open sores on the fingers and toes.
  • Inflammation of a vein just beneath the skin’s surface caused by a blood clot.
  • Cramping of the muscles
  • Gangrene

If any signs or symptoms persist or if there is a suspicion of having Buerger’s disease, it is advisable to seek medical attention to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


The precise cause of Buerger’s disease remains unknown, despite various theories proposed by researchers. One prevailing belief is that the chemicals found in tobacco have the potential to harm the inner lining of blood vessels, possibly contributing to the development of Buerger’s disease. Another hypothesis suggests that the condition may involve an autoimmune response, wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Additionally, some researchers propose that certain individuals possess genetic factors that make them more susceptible to Buerger’s disease.

Risk factors

Several risk factors are identified to increase one’s risk of developing Buerger disease, such as:

  • Age: People between the ages of 20 and 45 have an increased risk of this condition.
  • Gender: Men or people assigned male at birth have higher risk of acquiring Buerger disease.
  • Tobacco use: People who smoke cigarettes, use cigars, make, or chew tobacco are susceptible to the Buerger disease.
  • Use of marijuana: Prolonged use of marijuana or cannabis increases the risk of blood vessel abnormalities comparable to those seen in Buerger disease.