Deep vein thrombosis: Symptoms
Pain in patients with DVT is common. Pain in the calf is experienced in 50% of the patients in the affected side. It occurs on dorsiflexion of the foot (Homans’ sign). Pain is usually confined to the calf muscles or along the course of the medial thigh’s deep veins. The pain and tenderness experienced in the patient with DVT has nothing to do with the dimensions of the clot, or its location.
Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) mainly affects thigh and lower leg’s large veins. A swelling of the calf muscles or thigh muscles is observed along with other signs of inflammation like pain and tenderness. This can be very prominent in some patients and not so significant in some people. It might take a little while for the swelling to subside. The hematologist will put you on heparin and later a vena cava filter. Wearing pressure stockings can help to some extent.
A discoloration of the skin of the affected limb is observed. The limb appears bluish, slightly purplish or reddish. Smaller veins in the affected area will be swollen due to being filled with blood and they become superficial. A red or purplish discoloration will occur. If they are ignored without treating them properly, they might rupture and result in ulcer formation.
In addition to the pain, the patient might also experiences tenderness of the calf muscles on the affected side. There is swelling or tenderness in the leg veins experienced. Patients with DVT often experience pain or tenderness in one leg that only happens when standing or walking. Localized tenderness along the distribution of the deep venous system. Tenderness can be observed or examined by the physician by firm palpation in the center of the calf muscle, popliteal fossa, and along the course of the femoral vein that is along the anterior thigh and groin.
5. Increased skin temperature
A probable theory for the warmth of the skin over the DVT affected leg is that there are dialated veins over the area and so it causes warmth in that area. The skin over the affected area of a DVT affected extremity will be warm when touched. This is due to the edema formation as a result of decreased blood flow from that area resulting in clogging of tissue fluids. In addition to the heat, the skin will also become discolored.
6. Lower back pain
Some patients might also experience lower back pain if the clot is in the pelvic area veins or in the abdominal vein. Absence of the infrarenal IVC associated with iliac vein thrombosis can cause low back pain in some patients. However, it can be rare.
7. Shortness of breath
The first sign that might occur in DVT can be the shortness of breath. This might be because of the dislodging of the clot from the calf and its migration towards the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism. Other symptoms that follow this are pain in the chest when taking a deep breath, cough and a frothy sputum in pink color. You should seek medical care immediately if these symptoms occur.
8. Chest pain
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) if dislodged and migrates to the lungs and gets trapped there, will cause a blockage in the oxygen supply causing heart failure. This is known as a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. It causes chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting is also the symptoms.