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Blood clots,calf cramp,pain,swollen calf

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Practicing since : 2002
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So I took a two hour plane ride and a two hour car ride with breaks in between each trip to walk around. Later in the day Tuesday I started freaking myself out about blood clots. I have a weird phobia of them. Well my calf has been crampy. Its not anything terrible and I did go walking form two miles yesterday. I figured if I had a clot I wouldn't have been able to walk two miles. And the pain hasn't gotten any worse and no new symptoms.

Oh and I've had several negative ultrasounds in the past and my last one was two weeks ago...

here is a picture of my calfs. Do they look swollen?

Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

After reviewing your history and the photos you provided I really do not see any asymmetry in your legs which would be suggestive of a clot or DVT. I understand your concern completely.

In the absence of being able to examine you it would be impossible for me to guarantee to you that there is no clot but my index of suspicion is low. If you are active, orherwise healthy, don't smoke and have no family history of blog clotting or bleeding disorder - this also supports a low likelihood of there being a clot.

This could be purely musculoskeletal - possibly related to shoes or footwear even as they can have an impact on soreness and pain in the calves.

Let me reassure you - DVTs are not that common and a number of risk factors need to be present in order to make the diagnosis more likely - but in your case you have none other than the plane ride.

Easier said than done - but try not to focus on the idea you have a clot an more on the fact that you are quite healthy! If pain or discomfort persists for more than 48 hours I recommend you see your PCP for a consultation.

I thank you again for your query. Inhope you found this response to be helpful and informative. Should you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Blood clots,calf cramp,pain,swollen calf 4 hours later
Thank you for your answer. It is much appreciated.

I just have anxiety after reading a story of a 20 year old man dieing from a blood clot. He was sitting playing his xbox for 15 hours straight. obviously not a smart idea. But he just died the next day. Only warning he had was a low heart rate. Im not sure anything else, and it said he had no underlying medical conditions. This freaks me out that I could just be walking and die from a blood clot. Is there anything you can do to help me with this fear? im freaking out
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the follow-up query.

I cannot emphasize enough how strongly I feel that you are not dealing with a blood clot. The ultrasound tests you had done previously are quite effective at picking up clots and also at finding any disturbance in blood flow in the legs which could indicate that a clot is forming.

The story you read is very sad regarding the young boy but please realize also that his experience is extremely, extremely rare.

For peace of mind you could visit with your doctor again next week for a repeat ultrasound but I am sure it will be negative. It is important for you to avoid looking for stories, blogs or anything on the internet regarding this topic matter. It will only fuel your anxiety.

In the meantime, seek out the company of friends and family to help take your mind off this. Also, try to read a book or magazine, participate in hobbies you enjoy and get some exercise. All of these things together will help get your mind away from perseverating on this particular topic.

I know this is so much easier to say than to do but please trust in my assessment that you have no blood clot going on.

Thanks again for the question and followup. I remain available for any followups as well.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Blood clots,calf cramp,pain,swollen calf 11 hours later
Thank you so very much. I've had this fear for two years. It started when I was pregnant and hearing of a woman dying after a c section, and of course researched everything I could about blood clots. I guess what scares me the most is peoples stories of having no symptoms, and dying. Do most people have symptoms. Is it common in young adults? Is sudden death rare?
Ive had a total of 6 ultrasounds in the past two years, and never had a clot. Should I really worry about this any longer?
I appreciate all the answers, hopefully this will ease my anxiety
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 10 hours later
Hello and thanks for the followups.

The answer to your first question is yes. Most patients do actually have significant symptoms, including very severe leg pain obvious swelling as well as sometimes redness. It would be a very rare event for someone to have a blood clot without any symptoms.

As for the second and death related to blood clots. This is extremely rare. Very rarely would a patient have no symptoms of the blood clot and then this blood clot progresses to the point where the patient actually suffers a fatal event. Again this is exceedingly rare.

Again I completely understand your level of anxiety especially in light of some of the stories which have obviously had a dramatic impact on you. I completely also understand that you are quite sensitive to this issue given the impact the stories have had on you. I do really think that this is something you should not worry about anymore. You have had multiple ultrasound studies and these have all been negative with not any suspicion for a blood clot or something related to a disturbance of blood flow. I really think you are an extremely healthy patient and should can ch'in you to try to move on and enjoy a happy and healthy life.

You may have a mild degree of anxiety which is manifesting itself in this blood clot issue. There may be a mild fixation on this for you related to this anxiety. This is very common and again I really understand your position.

Again I thank you very much for submitting your question and follow ups. Please understand again that I strongly urge you to try not to think about this blood clot concern any longer. If there is anything else I can do to help you I would be happy to do so by addressing any additional concerns.


Dr. Robert.
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