What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis – or DVT – is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body, commonly the leg. Blood clots occur when blood thickens, sticks together and can no longer move freely.

A DVT is dangerous because it can break apart and travel through the bloodstream to the lung and cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism or PE.

Symptoms of a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis or  a blood clot in the leg):
  • Swelling in the affected leg, including swelling in your ankle and foot.
  • Pain in your leg; this can include pain in your ankle and foot. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or a charley horse. It won’t go away with regular stretching, massaging or rest.
  • Warmth over the affected area.
  • Changes in your skin color, such as turning pale, red or blue or purple.

You need to know in about half of all cases, deep vein thrombosis occurs without any noticeable symptoms. It is also important to note that a DVT can occur not only in the leg, but the groin, arm, abdomen or other deep vein(s) as well. 

If you are at all concerned, make an appointment with your primary care physician or visit your local emergency room.