What are the symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Does anyone know? Search engines have proven to be most unhelpful. Thanks.


Thrombosis may affect superficial veins (superficial thrombophlebitis) or deep veins (deep vein thrombosis). Prolonged venous thrombosis may lead to chronic venous insufficiency, in which there is edema, pain, stasis pigmentation, stasis dermatitis, and stasis ulceration. Thrombosis is virtually always accompanied by phlebitis, thus the terms thrombosis and thrombophlebitis are used interchangeably. Thrombosis may occur on the basis of coagulation abnormalities that may be familial (see Ch. 132) or related to an underlying malignancy.

Which search engines? If you type symptoms deep vein thrombosis into Google you get a billion zillion pages with titles like “Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis” and such. Here’s what one of them said:

Um, you should try the Merck Manual search :slight_smile:

This is from the section on Venous Thrombosis:

If that’s more technical than you wanted, try the Merk Manual Home Edition. Here’s the section on Venous and Lymphatic Disorders, and on that page are these symptoms:


Ack- sorry for the screwed up formatting in that last post!


My left calf swelled up to about the size of my upper leg. And it was painful to walk, mostly behind the knee. I went to the doctor to see what was wrong. He sent me to the hospital for a couple of tests which included injecting dye into my vein and xraying it. As soon as they confirmed that it was in fact a deep vein “blood clot”, they wouldn’t even let me stand up long enough to get in a wheel chair. They admitted me to the hospital right then and there and started an IV of Coumedin (sp?). (blood thinner medicine). I was in the hospital for 1 week.

That was 10 or 11 years ago. Since that time, I have had no major problems, although at times my leg still swells up a little sometimes. I have to take an aspirin each day now, but when I was first out of the hospital, I was on the Coumadin in pill form for about six months.

As a side note, when I was in the hospital, they did all kinds of different tests trying to find out the cause. They never did, but the doctor did say that smoking was one of the causes. (which I did at the time).

The biggest danger is a clot breaking loose and getting to your heart, lung or brain. If it does, it’s pretty much curtains. So a word to the wise, if you even suspect that you may have one, get to a doctor immediately.

Two of the other things that we were taught to look for (besides warmth, swelling, and pain) :

livor reticularis : this is a dilation of the cutaneous veins with an obstruction of the deep veins. The skin also becomes quite mottled.

palpable cords : sometimes, with a big enough thrombosis, you can feel it with deep palpation. It feels like a tough cord under the skin.

“What?” – Richard M. Nixon" – Thomas Pynchon

Yes, he too was hospitalized with DVT (at Long Beach Memorial Hospital).

It is important to understand that deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can make your leg swell up and hurt is a medical emergency because the clot can break up and a chunk can land in your lung and kill you. Chronic venous insufficiency can also make your leg swell up and hurt but it is not an emergency. It is a chronic or recurrent problem due to insufficient “drainage” of blood from the leg back to the heart.