Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein normally in the legs. The most common location is the deep veins in the calf muscle. DVT can form in the arms but most frequently form in the lower leg. DVT results in blocking the normal blood flow through the vein and results in various symptoms.
Symptoms of DVT ;
Calf pain and tenderness
Increased tissue heat
Inability to weight bear or walk
There are many potential risk factors in relation to DVT, the most common is immobility such as post surgical patients, especially those who have had lower limb surgery such as a hip or knee operation. Long distance travel, such as long haul flights can increase your risk of DVT. Hence it is essential to regularly perform ‘calf pumps’ to aid blood flow with long haul plane travel.
People over the age of 40 and those that are overweight have an increased risk of developing a DVT, as do those that have had a DVT before and those that have a family history of blood clot formation. Patients who have cancer or having chemotherapy also have an increased risk of forming DVT.
DVT is a potentially fatal condition as it can lead to a pulmonary embolus (blood clot in the lung). This occurs when a piece of the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, blocking the blood flow of the blood vessels in the lung.
DVT is diagnosed most commonly with a Doppler ultrasound which can be performed at a hospital emergency department. Treatment consists of anti-coagulant therapy (blood thinning medicine) such as warfarin and rest.
All Physica practitioners are experienced in recognizing the early clinical signs of DVT and will direct you to the appropriate medical team.