We recently had a mid-20s male patient come in for moderate to severe calf pain. The pain occured suddenly while he was resting at home.
His calf was swollen, red, warm to touch, and tender on palpation. A few possible diagnoses came to mind, which included both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal conditions. As a musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy clinic, we must be knowledgeable and mindful enough to recognize other medical conditions and refer patients on to other appropriate healthcare providers when necessary. 🧑⚕️
There were multiple red flags🚩 here such as sudden onset of pain that is worsening, with the combination of swelling, redness, warmth, and tender to touch. Even cold therapy did not reduce his swelling or redness. Luckily our patient had access to get an MRI done privately prior to our session.
Based on the MRI results, it was a suspected blood clot in his vein, and he was asked to return to the clinic the next morning to do another scan. However, given his clinical presentation, we advised him to go to the A&E immediately.
It was confirmed to be Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT typically occurs during periods of immobility such as prolonged bed rest in the hospital or sitting on long haul flights. Other risk factors include being overweight, smoking, pregnancy, hormone therapy and certain medications. Given that we are sitting down more at home now due to present restrictions, as well as other barriers to stay healthy, we may put ourselves at risk of DVT too. 🦵
To reduce this risk, aim to get up and move for 5-10 mins for every 60-90 mins of sitting. Maintain a regular exercise routine and try to manage your weight.🏃
While physiotherapists are unable to directly treat DVT, we have a role in identifying the signs and symptoms, and also in prevention of DVT especially in the inpatient settings.
If you feel any severe pain, cramping or burning sensation in the calf, associated with redness, warmth, swelling, and tenderness to touch, please seek medical attention.🏥
📝1. Khim, K. B. (2021, May 27). Does WFH lead to deep vein thrombosis? It’s not about sitting down but weight gain. CNA Lifestyle. https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/wellness/deep-vein-thrombosis-dvt-sitting-down-work-from-home-13628732
📝2. Doyle, L. (2020, December 21). Work from home risks: The best ways to work to prevent DVT risks amid warnings. Express.Co.Uk. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1374297/Work-from-home-risks-how-to-WFH-DVT-deep-vein-thrombosis-symptoms-treatment-evg
📝3. Potential DVT risk linked to lockdown? (2020, July 30). Bupa. https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/dvt-lockdown
📝4. Deep Vein Thrombosis. Physiopedia. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Deep_Vein_Thrombosis
#dvt #deepveinthrombosis #calf #leg #pain #PhysioSports #physio #physiotherapy #stayactive #workfromhome #wfh #fitnessSG
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