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Have dull throbbing pain in upper calves and below knee. What is causing this?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am a 44 YO female with a dull throbbing pain in upper calves, just below the back of both knees. Problem is worse when legs are bent. Also, my toes turn red at times but seem to get better when legs are elevated and straight. I've had this problem off and on for a few years.
Posted Wed, 31 Oct 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 16 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
I understand your concern.
The pain in upper calves as you described can be due to-
1. Calf muscle strain and tear - Usually due to overwork and overstretching of the muscles. Recent increase in leg exercises may cause these. Gradual increase in exercise and pain killers with mild symptoms.
2. Prolonged intake of hormonal therapy like oral pills or HRT might cause this.
3. Muscle ischaemia- associated with diabetes usually. There is acute pain associated with it.
4. XXXXXXX vein thrombosis- comes last among the list of probable diagnosis.
You may get the initial physical examination, relevant tests and treatment done under care of 'Orthopaedician'.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have dull throbbing pain in upper calves and below knee. What is causing this? 1 hour later
Could a muscle strain or tear cause my toes to turn red (and swell, I forgot that part)? Seems weird, since my pain is in the back of my upper calf....My feet and toes swell, however, only my toes turn red.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
The swelling of the feet may appear due to mild inflammation associated with sprain or tear. The red discoloration of the toes may be associated with inflammation. However a direct examination of the area is necessary as there are many causes of swollen feet which need to be ruled out after appropriate blood tests.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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