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Leg gets numb, swells and have pins and needles in toe with tender calf. Suggest?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 9400 Questions
Hi, please help my right leg gets numb, swells n at times i get pins n needles n big toe is numb and cool to touch. Tenderness around culf, it is painful numb.
Posted Tue, 1 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 56 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Use warm compress, avoid pain killers, see doctor

Detailed Answer:
Hello ma'am and welcome.

Thank you for writing.

I would like to start by saying that when there is numbness, swelling and pain in only one leg, it might be considered an emergency situation only because it can be related to a stroke; but this could be unlikely due to your age. Although I would still like for you to visit a doctor at your earliest convenience.

For now, please apply a warm compress, which will improve the circulation in your legs and reduce swelling. Avoid the use of pain killers for now, as one of the possible causes could be a kidney condition, and the use of pain killers will only make the kidney condition worse, so we will first have to rule out any kidney abnormalities.

I would like to ask you if you have experienced any insect bites off late? Any injury to the leg? Any burns, application of chemicals on that particular leg directly? Any changes in speech, concentration, vision, etc?

Now I shall list the possible causes for such a presentation:
-Circulatory problems (would require a doppler ultrasound scan of your leg)
-Kidney conditions (blood test to check renal profile)
-Physical examination (to look for any insect bites, burns or injuries)
-Medication (side effects of medicines, but you have not mentioned any medicines in your history)
-Brain or nervous system related conditions (these should be considered only after all other conditions are ruled out)

I would kindly request you to visit your doctor who will rule out more serious conditions, and also help relieve your pain and swelling at the earliest. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications ma'am.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Leg gets numb, swells and have pins and needles in toe with tender calf. Suggest? 1 hour later
The numbness started few months after i started oral contraceptives, i started to take aspirin to thin my blood and veinstax some over the counter drug for spider veins. I thought its due to prolonged standing as i am an icu nurse, i thot of DVT since m on the oral contraceptive. The gynea put me on it due to painful menses.
No recent injury but i jog now and then.......the ankle was injured when i was in grade 10 but i doubt it has to do with it. My worry is that the numbness wont go away.
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Doppler USG and coagulation profile

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again ma'am.

I am glad you belong to the medical field as you will better understand your condition. I am also extremely thankful for all the information you have provided.

Based on which, it is quite clear that we should suspect blood or circulatory abnormalities for your condition. For this, I would request you to get a doppler ultrasound and a coagulation pepfile conducted, and visit your prescribing doctor with the reports. You could also write back to me for further guidance. Do not worry ma'am, your consition is treatable, but make sure you do not delay diagnosis and/or treatment any longer.

Best wishes and take care.
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