What Is Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome (PAES)?
Popliteal artery entrapment syndrome, also called PAES, is a rare vascular disease.
The popliteal artery is the main artery that runs through and behind the knee.
PAES occurs when nearby tendons and muscles squeeze — or compress — the popliteal artery. This limits blood flow, leading to symptoms in the lower leg.
Types of PAES
There are six different types of PAES:
- Type I — happens because of an abnormal course of the popliteal artery.
- Type II — happens because of an abnormal position of a nearby muscle.
- Type III — happens because of an accessory slip of a nearby muscle and fibrous bands of tissue.
- Type IV — happens when the popliteal artery passes underneath the popliteus muscle.
- Type V — includes compression of the popliteal artery and the popliteal vein.
- Type VI — includes other variations.
PAES causes and risk factors
PAES is often a congenital problem, meaning you're born with the condition. An enlarged calf muscle can also cause PAES to form over time.
PAES is most common in young athletes, largely those who play soccer, football, rugby, or vigorously lift weights.
Men are more at risk to get PAES than are women.
In some cases, compression can damage and narrow the wall of the popliteal artery.
In severe cases, permanent muscle or nerve damage can occur due to compression or loss of blood flow to the lower leg.
For an appointment with a UPMC vascular surgeon, complete an appointment request form or call 1-855-876-2484 (UPMC-HVI).