Blood Clot In Legs

Concerned you may have a blood clot in leg?  You certainly may if you have a certain constellation of symptoms. Generally the signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your legs would include pain and swelling.  Sometimes it can even be red and inflamed as often occurs with a superimposed thrombophlebitis or cellulitis (infection of the skin).  Usually symptoms creep up slowly and the pain or swelling is either in the right or left leg.  It is unusual to have swelling in both legs, but is possible if your blood clot is in both legs and not just one.  A blood clot in your leg is also known as a deep venous thrombosis or DVT for short.

There are a myriad of causes of a blood clot in legs, but all essentially boil down to the fact that something has put you in a hypercoagulable state or more plainly more prone to having a clot.  Probably one of the most common causes of a blood clot is surgery.  Any surger which causes you to be sedentary puts you at increased risk.  This is why when you have surgery compression devices are placed on your legs and you are encouraged to ambulate.  If you recently had surgery and especially surgery of the hip or knee along with swelling of the right or left leg then you should talk to your doctor right away.  If you have pain alone and not much swelling you still could have a blood clot and should have it checked out.

The least invasive test for checking for a blood clot in the venous system of the legs is the doppler ultrasound.  This involves placing a transducer with some clear jelly on your legs and determining if there is flow and compressibility in the veins of your legs.   In rare cased due to unusual anatomy more extensive testing is needed because the ultrasound is unable to determine if there is truly a blood clot or not.

Other causes of blood clots could be hereditary.   This is especially true if you have a parent or sibling that suffered a venous clot in the leg or arm.   The two most common gene mutations causing venous blood clots are factor V leiden and the prothrombin gene mutation.  If you are young and you and your doctors don’t know why you got a blood clot you should be tested for several disorders including the two mentioned above.

Cancer unfortunately is not an uncommon cause of blood clots in legs or DVT.  In general malignancies cause hypercoagulable states irrespective of the type of cancer it is.  Now there are of course some exceptions for example a malignancy that inhibits platelet production in the bone marrow would actually cause the opposite effect and make someone more prone to bleeding.

There are various treatment options for blood clots that you can choose from.  The treatment that is best for you will vary depending on the type of clot you have and where it is located along with whether or not you have a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in lung which is when a blood clot in your legs or arms breaks off and enters the lungs.  Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism or PE are often rapid heart rate, chest pain and shortness of breath.

Read more about blood clot treatment and more about the causes and various procedures that may be necessary when you have a blood clot in legs.  Also, look around for more information on blood clot in leg symptoms as it is important you don’t miss a blood clot because it could be fatal.