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What causes shooting pain and irritation in leg radiating to calf area?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 9399 Questions
im concerned about maybe having a dvt, my leg started hurting last week from buttocks all the way down to calf, gp said it was due to my weight , it wasnt tender to touch the other day but yesterday it started having shooting pains and aching , not that painful but irritable , tonight when lying down i got pins and needles in lower leg and foot , i need a urgent answer , i have superficial thembphlebitis , and have done for a year or so , although now theres another one , that iv only just notice also a small brown mark on my lower leg , not tender. i feel as if the muscle in my upper back leg is tight and its a strange pressure felling ectending down to my calf. i now also have a few tender places on my inner calf. hurts when pressed (which iv been doing alot ) . iv booked another appointment for XXXXXXX with gp , but do u think i should go to a&e. i cannot see any redness so to speak , the both legs feels same temp , and i have a pulse in both feet
Posted Wed, 6 Aug 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
?? sciatica more likely than DVT

Detailed Answer:
Hello ma'am and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help.

In my opinion, with the provided description and localization of pain, it sounds mord like a condition commonly called sciatica. The irritation or due to slight amount of pressure applied on the sciatic nerve (can also take place due to an increased amount of body weight), it results in pain characteristically from the lower back going down from the back side of the thigh, to the back side of the knee and at times till the calf even.

This will ofcourse have to be confirmed by a doctor after a more elaborate evaluation ma'am. If at all you are suspecting DVT, then you could also request your doctor for an ultrasound Doppler just to make sure. But in my opinion, it sounds more like sciatica ma'am.

I think a GP, vascular surgeon or an orthopedician would be most experienced in diagnosing you condition ma'am. I hope you find my response both helpful and informative. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes shooting pain and irritation in leg radiating to calf area? 6 hours later
thank you , my back does not hurt at all , but last night my veins in effected leg seem to purtrude some what. and when i walk my calf feels strained. a few blueish / purplish marks on leg although iv had these from time to time , and i keep feeling my leg had something crawling on it . is this typical of sciatica ?
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
?? varicose veins, needs confirmation

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again ma'am and thank you for that information.

No ma'am, this is not typical of sciatica. The description provided in your first message was closer to sciatica, not the current one.

In this scenario, I would recommend you to go about a blood coagulation profile, a physical examination and more importantly a Doppler ultrasound of the affected region. Either a general physician or a vascular surgeon would best suit your needs ma'am, so please do try to schedule an appointment with either of these specialists.

In the meantime, try to not to stand for long durations of time together. Keep sitting every 15 minutes, if at all your job or daily activities require you to stand for long durations. Drink plenty of water and keep exercising your feet while in seated and supine position to help keep the blood flowing.

Do not worry ma'am, meeting a doctor and going about the above mentioned investigations will surely help us to find the cause.

I hope I have explained things in a manner best understood by you ma'am. Please do not hesitate to write back to me for any further assistance, I am always available to help.

God bless.
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Follow-up: What causes shooting pain and irritation in leg radiating to calf area? 1 hour later
i have just returned from my gp's and he said that my weight is a massive contribution to these problems and i just need to exercise and keep with my diet plan, he said it is of a concern but he is positive that with weight loss that these problems will rectify , do you think this is a fair evealuation as i am still of concern ,? , do you think i should just go to local hospital and ask them for the relevant tests or just keep a eye on my leg and if things get worse go then ?, also do you think walking will be ok , what if i do have a clot , wouldnt exercise move them clot ???
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Better to be safe, than sorry: Get the Doppler USG

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again XXXXXXX

Of course, weight does contribute to a lot of stress on the legs and also its blood vessels, which can result in such a picture. But at times, it can also result in varicose veins due to the enormous pressure weight can apply on the blood vessels.

For this reason, varicosity of veins is commonly found in overweight and obese individuals who stand for long duration's of time. For this reason I would like to say that a physical examination is vital. If your doctor has evaluated your legs and found that this is not due to varicose veins and only due to your weight then he/she might be correct, but it is still not a 100 %.

For this reason, I would still recommend a Doppler ultrasound which will help to put you at ease, and also give me the satisfaction that you are well. As for the clot, do not worry about this, there will not be any clot and you can walk and move around freely ma'am. Do schedule a Doppler ultrasound at a diagnostic center and write back to me with the results.

I am always available to help, so please do not hesitate to write to me about anything, anytime. Wishing you nothing but the best.

God bless.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes shooting pain and irritation in leg radiating to calf area? 45 minutes later
thank you , i do feel some what better about it today , i have taken a walk and nothing is hurting now , i have a few aches and pains but nothing too bad, i will take myself to my local clinic in the next few days and get the test done you suggested . thank you for your advice and kind words , god bless you and for all the good work you do ,
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It was my pleasure entirely

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again XXXXXXX

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Keep healthy and try to lose weight slowly, nothing drastic would be considered healthy. Keep in touch if there is anything I can do, now or in the future.

My best wishes are always with you.
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