Patient: I dropped a heavy object on my calf. A week later the swelling and bruising is worse, and the pain is worse that when the ijury first occured. My leg is swollen and hot, and the bruise has traveled. The skin on my leg is tight. Should I go to the ER?
Doctor: It is important to rule out as soon as possible a hematoma and possible blood clot, occurring due to the trauma sustaine d that form in the veins of the legs can stop the return flow of blood from the legs back up to the heart and cause swelling in the ankles and feet. Blood clots can be either superficial (occurring in the veins just beneath the skin), or deep (a condition known as deep vein thrombosis). Deep clots can block one or more of the major veins of the legs. These blood clots can be life-threatening if they break loose and travel to the heart and lungs. If you have swelling in one leg, along with pain, low-grade fever, and possibly a change in color of the affected leg, call your doctor immediately. Treatment with blood thinners may be necessary.