This is a common and usually normal occurrence after surgery or an injury. It is often due to altered walking, injury or from being in a boot or cast but it can also be due to a blood clot. Some people are predisposed to these blood clots. If you or someone in your family has had a venous blood clot (DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis ) or if you are immobilized, had a recent injury, are on hormone replacement/ Birth Control Pills or Diuretics you are at higher risk. Blood clots in the legs are taken very seriously because the clot can dislodge and go to your lungs. This is called a Pulmonary Embolism or PE. A PE is life threatening and if you have symptoms of this such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing and a racing heart beat with or without calf tenderness you should go to the hospital immediately. In our field of podiatry there are not many life-threatening conditions. This is one that our office takes very seriously. Better safe than sorry!
If you have calf tenderness we have a very low threshold to send you for a venous doppler at a hospital or radiology center.
If you have shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat with or without calf tenderness we send you to the emergency room immediately. Follow the link for more information: