Another Thing I Did Not Know About Stroke

Rebecca Dutton
About the Author: Rebecca Dutton is a former occupational therapist and stroke survivor. Her blog Home After a Stroke was rated as the world's top 10 stroke related blogs by the Medical News Today. You can find the original post and other blog posts by Rebecca at Find the original post at: {{original_post_url}}

When I was an OT who specialized in stroke rehab I did not know the temperature of my hemiplegic foot could vary widely.  Two studies found a stroke survivor’s hemiplegic leg may have atrophy of the superficial femoral artery which reduces blood flow (1, 2).  This may explain why my hemiplegic foot feels ice cold by bedtime in the winter.  However, poor leg circulation does not explain why my hemiplegic foot is hot and red by bedtime in the summer, even though I have air conditioning.  My brain often interprets this high heat as pain so I walk barefoot with my quad cane which has four feet.  The quad cane forces me to walk slowly which is irritating!  A stroke taught me things I did not learn from an advanced certification course or experience treating stroke survivors.

1. Durant MJ, et al. Superficial femoral artery atrophy and reduced lower limb blood flow in
    subacute stroke survivors. Stroke. 2020(Feb);51:ATP484.
2. Ivey FM, et al.  Impaired leg vasodilatory function after stroke.  Stroke. 2010(Oct);41:2913-2917.