In about half of all cases, deep vein thrombosis occurs without any noticeable symptoms.

When deep vein thrombosis symptoms occur, they can include:

  • Swelling in the affected leg, including swelling in your ankle and foot.
  • Pain in your leg; this can include pain in your ankle and foot. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or a charley horse.
  • Warmth over the affected area.
  • Changes in your skin color, such as turning pale, red or blue.

When to see a doctor

If you develop signs or symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, contact your doctor for guidance.

If you develop signs or symptoms of a pulmonary embolism — a life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis — seek medical attention immediately.

The warning signs of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Unexplained sudden onset of shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath or when you cough
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Sweating
  • Coughing up blood
  • A sense of anxiety or nervousness
Jan. 19, 2013