Dear Ask The Doctor: I have a throbbing like pain in my right calf, sometimes feels muscular, i've had this for over a week the pain comes and goes, it has travelled to my outer thigh, i am worried about DVT? i'm 23 smoke 10 cigs a day, little overweight, no swelling, not hot, no discolouration? i also suffer from extre anxiety please help?
Dear KATIE: Risk factors for Deep Venous Thrombosis are mainly: immobility (hospitalization, prolonged sitting), smoking, taking contraceptive pills, hormone therapy, obesity, major surgery, bone fracture or have had in the past history of DVT. The typical symptoms are: pain, swelling and discoloration along with risks factors. Some persons develop significant symptoms within a few hours or a day; in others symptoms develop slowly and creep up over several days or sometimes even a few weeks. Some patients have a lot of pain from an acute DVT, others have none. Some have a lot of swelling, others none; some have diffuse warmth and bluish/purplish discoloration, others none. It is often difficult and not infrequently impossible to tell whether leg symptoms are a DVT or something that is not serious, such as a leg cramp or calf tendinitis. Although a deep vein thrombosis may resolve on its own, the life-threatening consequences of a clot reaching the lung, called Pulmonary Embolism, are severe enough to warrant seeking medical attention immediately. No accurate blood test is available to diagnose deep vein thrombosis. Therefore, a variety of imaging tests are used to confirm the diagnosis, the most used is the Doppler Ultrasound. I strongly recommend that you have an evaluation by your doctor to rule out the DVT possibility and after that proceed with the adequate treatment option and also give you peace of mind.