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:
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- 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
- Coughing up blood
- A sense of anxiety or nervousness
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- Goldhaber SZ. Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Online. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies. 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2880540&searchStr=deep+vein+thrombosis#2880540. Accessed May 28, 2011.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Society for Vascular Surgery. https://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/deep-vein-thrombosis-(-dvt-)-.aspx?PF=1. Accessed May 28, 2011.
- Focus on blood clots. Vascular Disease Foundation. http://www.vdf.org/pdfs/VDF_FocusOnBloodClots.pdf. Accessed May 29, 2011.
- O'Connor MB, et al. Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis, is a risk factor for recurrent thromboembolic events: A case report. Cases Journal. 2009;2:173.
- Being tall, obese may significantly increase risk of blood clots in deep veins. American Heart Association. http://www.newsroom.heart.org/index.php?s=43&item=1321. Accessed May 29, 2011.
- Alguire PC, et al. Post-thrombotic (postphlebitic) syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 27, 2011.
- Lip GY, et al. Treatment of lower extremity deep vein thrombosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 27, 2011.
- FDA expands use of Xarelto to treat, reduce recurrence of blood clots. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm326654.htm?source=govdelivery. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.