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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Why do doctors ask about calf pain when I have a heart problem ?

Why do doctors ask about calf pain when I have a heart condition? I have a heart condition which is under investigation, a few days ago I was admitted to A E with a fast/ abnormal heart rhythem and was kept in for a couple of hours. The doctor asked me whether my ankles swell and if I experience any pain in my calf s, I was just wondering why this was, in case it is related and if it does happen in the future Just to add - I am only 25
Mon, 14 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
depending on the heart condition, you may be at a higher risk for developing a clot. circulation in your lower appendages is under the influence of gravity. meaning its harder to pump the blood out of there. swelling is a sign of inadequate heart function. as blood pools, it can clot. the pain in your calf is known as "homan's sign" and is a crap way to diagnose a possible clot in your lower leg. people still use this old method to check for clots, even though research evidence has debunked its accuracy. basically, your MD checks your calf b/c it makes him feel better. the swelling, however, can be a cheap, but accurate to measure heart function.
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