Is sharp pain in the upper calf a symptom of DVT?

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Posted on Mon, 5 Oct 2015 in Veins and Arteries
Question: Just wanted to check whether i have anything to worry about. What type of pain does deep vein thrombosis cause? I was on a plane for 6.5 hours though i got up at least every 2 hours to walk. About 2 hours after the flight was over i got a sharp pain in my upper calf - like a stabbing type pain. I have no other symptoms like swelling. Wasnt sure if it causes sharp pain - which i tend to think of as nerve type pain - or more deep pain like muscle aches. Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
if pain continues and/or associated swelling, then should see doctor

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is understandable to be concerned after a prolonged flight but based on symptoms described, it is not likely that you have a deep vein thrombosis but if you remain concerned you can see your doctor.

Classically there is pain and swelling , with the swelling or edema being the most specific symptom for DVT .
Swelling occurs because the clot is blocking the flow of blood.

Leg pain does occur in about 1/2 of persons with DVT but because pain occurs in a wide range of conditions , it is not considered a specific sign of DVT.

The nature of the pain may vary, though it can be dull ache .

Some persons have no symptoms at all.

If the pain recurs or there is swelling as well, then you should see your doctor for assessment for DVT.

If the pain does not recur and there is no other issues then you can likely rule out DVT.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16810 Questions

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