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Forum Name: Clots & Anticoagulants

Question: dull ache in calf


 aelomell - Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:40 am

Hello! I have been experiencing a dull ache in my left calf for 3 days now. It is not painful, and comes and goes. It feels like a tightness. I have experienced no swelling of the leg. My maternal grandmother and grandfather had issues w/ blood clots (neither passed from them). My grandmother also had very bad vericose veins. I do have one vein on the side of my left calf that is very visable. I do sit at a desk for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I am also currently on birth control. Is this something I should be concerned about? I cannot get to see my dr. until April. Should I go to a medcheck?

Thank you.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:59 pm

User avatar Hi there -

While there are other potential causes for this sort of discomfort, any sort of pain, tightness, swelling or warmth in the calf should be examined, especially if there is a family history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or coagulation issues. SInce you have a positive family history for this and are using birth control, you should have this checked, at least via an ultrasound of the calf and possibly a D-dimer blood test as well, even if you have to go to a walk-in facility to get this done. It's just not worth the risk.

Some other potential problems which could be at the bottom of this are compartment syndrome (more common in athletes, but sometimes occurring for no apparent reason), and varicose or torturous deep veins.

I hope this is helpful. Please update us as to what's going on. Best of luck to you.
 aelomell - Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:36 am

Thank you Dr. for your response. My mother is an ultrasound tech and was able to scan my leg for me. She scanned all the way up my thigh, down to my ankle. She advised the all my veins were compressing normally and she saw no indication of a clot. Since then I have been putting a warm compress on my calf at night. The pain and tightness seem to be disappearing. I am going to be more concious of how I take care of my legs from now on though!

Thank you.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:50 pm

User avatar What a handy thing, to have a mother who's a US tech. That exam should pretty much put your (and everyone else's) mind at ease. The warm compresses certainly can't hurt either. Good luck to you with this, and by all means follow up here as needed. Sounds like you're good to go for now.

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