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07 November 2007

Has anyone here had blood clots in their legs? Can you feel them? What about other leg related cirulatory issues?[More:]

I'm afraid that I might have something wrong with my legs. It feels like I have cramps or growing pains, but not all over - in one place on one leg at a time. Massaging the spot helps while the massaging continues, but the pain comes back when I stop. It's an intermittent problem that has recently started up again and has been bothering me for a couple of days. I'm trying to gauge if I need to go into the doctor now or if I can wait until my yearly physical in January.
Go sooner than later, for sure. Especially if you sence something could be wrong. Also, have you considered Restless Leg Syndrome?
posted by MonkeyButter 07 November | 19:31
I've thought about RLS but it's not an itching or crawling feeling. It's just crampish pain. I jump to the conclusion of circulatory related things because I'm on birth control and I smoke.
posted by youngergirl44 07 November | 19:46
If you have a blood clot, your leg will most likely be red, hot, swollen and painful to the touch. If you exhibit these symptoms, get to a physician immediately. Blood clots can move and quickly become pulmonary embolisms.

I had a bout of cellulitis centered in my right lower leg earlier this year and I was scared to death it was a clot, as the symptoms are nearly identical. At that time, an ultrasound was performed to rule out the possibility of a clot.

Please let us know what you find out so we don't worry :-)
posted by WolfDaddy 07 November | 19:50
my friend (officemate at the time) had a clot on his leg. it just hurt on a single leg, the pain just increasing with time. After a couple days he went to the doctor and it was a clot (he already suspected it, since it started hurting after a long plane trip. He simply took something to dissolve the clot, and a painkiller/anti-inflammatory.

From his experience, it wasn't intermittent, or a "wandering" pain. Of course, that might be just one possible manifestation.
posted by qvantamon 07 November | 19:50
Well my leg is not red, hot or swollen, so that makes me feel better. I'll probably give it another day and take some asprin before seeing my doctor.
posted by youngergirl44 07 November | 20:09
Yes, please do let us know how it turns out.
posted by MonkeyButter 07 November | 20:09
I had blood clots in both legs (and both arms) last spring, while I was in the hospital. Yes - I mistook the clots in my legs for leg cramps (my arms were already messed up from IV inclusions, so the clots in my arms never made it onto my radar until they found them with the sonogram). My ankles may have been slightly swollen, but nothing obvious. It felt just like the aftermath of a charliehorse. I don't think the severity of the pain was continuous, although it never went away completely for long. On the other hand, I was already on a lot of medication (and had a high fever), so my memory of the events is not entirely clear.

Bottom line: Please don't wait for your physical. Have this checked out as soon as possible.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson 07 November | 21:01
I agree. Have it looked at. I had a clot two years back that presented like a strained leg muscle. No swelling, not hotness, not redness. My Doctor's nurse practitioner thought it might be varicose veins and we had it checked with ultrasound just to be sure. Turned out to be a clot and they slammed my ass into a hospital bed. We checked and found two pulmonary embolisms; I thought I'd had a chest cold.

It worried my doctors, but for me it was just discomfort. I did shots of blood thinners for a while, then pills, and now I just use fish-oil.

It's worth having it looked at. And, if in doubt, and insurance will pay, have your legs scanned. Call first thing in the morning, but don't freak out, it'll be fine.
posted by mmahaffie 07 November | 21:33
Damn. Now I have to decide whether I go to my old doctor (who I adore) without insurance OR new doctor (that I've never seen before in my life) that insurance will pay for. My old doctor doesn't take my new insurance.
posted by youngergirl44 07 November | 21:39
Go with the insurance. Definitely. The tests aren't cheap, and if they do find something, you'll need a referral from someone your insurance will accept.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson 07 November | 21:54
You can do a little flexing of the feet. While lying down, point your toes to your head. Does the pain in your calf increase? This is called Homans' sign.

Do not massage your leg if you think you have a DVT. This could help dislodge a clot. I'm not saying you have a clot, you probably don't, but don't massage.

Have you been immobile? Are you on oral contraceptives? These are risk factors. See a doctor. You may just have muscle cramps. Maybe not, only a doctor can know for sure. Good luck, youngergirl. I'm thinking of you.
posted by LoriFLA 07 November | 23:12
I sit at a desk most of the time at work, but often take walks to the other side of the shop. So I sit a lot, but wouldn't consider myself immobile. I'm not on oral contraceptives, but I am on the ring. I keep flexing my ankles in all directions, hoping it will help. The pain doesn't increase or decrease when I flex my ankles in any direction.

This is lame. I don't want blood problems. LAME.
posted by youngergirl44 08 November | 00:51
I've had multiple blood clots. The worst was one that started feeling like a charlie horse, but not as tight and in the span of an hour blossomed into pain on the order of KILL ME NOW. By the I arrived at the hospital, I was in shock and after they got my pants off, they had to cut my underwear off. The pain went down until they did the venogram which sent me back into shock. This was a DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Clots in superficial veins produced red swollen areas in me. Cakewalk in comparison.

Get a diagnosis.
posted by plinth 08 November | 14:09
I had two bloodclots in my leg last April. One behind my knee and one in my calf. Both were the result of a broken ankle paired with having been on bedrest from surgery on the *other* ankle. Probably didn't help that I was on BCP's, either.

But to answer your question about what it felt like, I was pretty certain I had torn a muscle. In fact, when I went back to the ankle surgeon to have the broken ankle casted, I kept telling him that I really thought the muscle was torn and that I wanted an MRI. He squeezed the calf and it really hurt. It was swollen (but hey, everything was swollen, it was broken!) and sore. I was sent upstairs immediately for a doppler of the veins where they found the DVTS.

I had to go off the BCPs, go on Lovenox for about 10 days and was on Coumadin for 3 months.

Oh, and I was 36yo at the time. Pathetic, huh?

Long story short, not somthing to screw with. Go see the doctor if you haven't done so yet!
posted by dancinglamb 14 November | 17:45
Oops! || I'm not a big fan of glue or KISS, but I love this street art something fierce.