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Symptoms of Blood Clots in Calves

Often, the symptoms of formation of blood clots in the calves are easily visible. However, in some cases, the same might not at all be recognized and lead to pulmonary embolism. Here are more details on this problem.
Mamta Mule
Last Updated: Feb 2, 2018
Blood clots are commonly termed Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that usually form in the veins of legs. The blood vessels carrying blood towards your heart are known as veins. Deep veins in legs are larger in size which go through the muscles of your calves and thighs. Calf veins are the most common sections for deep vein thrombosis. Though there are various causes of DVT, slow-flowing blood due to immobility is more likely to clot than normal-flowing blood.
Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
As mentioned earlier, deep vein thrombosis usually develops in the calf veins. You might not experience the signs of formation of blood clot in calf if the clot is very small in size. Small blood clots will not block major portion of the vein and allow normal blood flow. In some cases, a patient might not have any noticeable symptoms of blood clot in calf, even if it is a bigger in size, this condition is known as silent DVT.
The most common symptoms of blood clots in calves are tenderness and swelling of this area. Due to the blood clots, blood normally passing through the blocked vein is diverted to outer veins leading to swelling of the calf. Blood clots in calves will also show symptoms like warmness and redness in this area. You can identify this by touching the affected area and other area of your leg far away from this. The affected area will have temperature which is higher than other areas.
One of the most visible sign of blood clot in calves is prominent veins. This might also be accompanied with symptoms like discoloration of the affected area. Tightness in the calf, calf muscle pain and discomfort while standing, walking or doing any leg movement are other signs of formation of blood clots in calves. Soreness caused due to blood clots in calf won't resolve even after you take rest. In some cases blood clot symptoms include swelling, starting from the site of clotting and extending through the entire length of leg below it. The uppermost starting point of swelling is known to be the approximate location of blood clots in the leg.
Complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Sometimes, blood clots formed in the veins of calf travel to the lungs through the bloodstream and block an artery. Even a small blood clot might get stuck in the lungs in the same way. This condition is known as pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication of deep vein thrombosis. Pulmonary embolism is the presence of blood clots in lungs, the symptoms of which will be related to your breathing. Pulmonary embolism can be life threatening, hence needs quick medical attention. In case of a DVT, when there are no noticeable symptoms of blood clots, you might directly experience the symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, pain while breathing, coughing, increased heart rate, and pain under breastbone or side of your chest. You might also experience sudden cough that produces bloody sputum, low blood pressure, wheezing, bluish-colored skin, feeling lightheaded, and fatigue.
In case you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you must visit your doctor to confirm the possibility of blood clots in calf area. Your doctor will conduct a deep vein thrombosis test to confirm the diagnosis and further prescribe a treatment for the same. Apart from symptoms of blood clot in calf, you must also keep a watch on symptoms of pulmonary embolism. Don't be ignorant as DVT might be serious.
Disclaimer: The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The recommendations mentioned hereby may not be generically applicable. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by the medical practitioner.