10 Signs of Blood Clot in Leg

blood clot in leg
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Normal functioning of the body includes proper response to blood vessel injury where a series of mechanisms result to the formation of blood clots on the surface of the damaged blood vessel. This process is initiated by a blood component called platelets.

However, unnecessary blood clot formations can happen inside blood vessels due to certain medical disorders. This can be hazardous to the individual.

A very common medical condition described as the increase in platelet count, creating an increased risk for the formation of abnormal blood clots inside the blood vessels, is thrombocytosis.

Thrombocytosis is a medical term used to refer to the existence of more than 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. The disorder can be grouped into two categories: Primary and secondary thrombocytosis.

Secondary thrombocytosis is an increase in platelet levels due to an underlying medical condition, infection or disease such as cancer, inflammation, and anemia.

Primary thrombocytosis results from abnormal cell production in the bone marrow, causing an increase in the number of platelets released to the bloodstream.

This post talks about blood clot in leg symptoms in particular. Read also about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

*Included below are some few blood clot in leg pictures to help you understand the symptoms better.

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Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clot in Leg

1. Swelling in the legs

A swell in the legs that does not respond to ordinary treatment methods can be an indication of formed blood clots in legs.

The painful swelling occurs at the site of the clot, indicating increased tissue and bone densities. The body cannot naturally clear the already formed clot in the affected blood vessel of the leg hence, the occurrence of pain.

The kind of swelling is common to suddenly develop with no obvious reason such as external injury to the area.

blood clot in leg swelling

2. Increased warmth around the area

Blood clotting in the leg usually results to an increase in temperature of the skin, specifically at the location of the clot. In some cases, the affected skin may be due to a persistent feeling of tingling at the site of the clot, highly localized in most cases. 

The increase in skin temperature due to blood clots in leg may be followed by other symptoms such as throbbing and itchiness. The assessment of the skin where the increase in temperature may have taken place will be described in records as warm to touch.

3. Tenderness

It is one of usual blood clot symptoms in leg that may develop where in some cases, the surrounding skin becomes very tender, even when the clot is deep below the skin. 

The superficial veins under the skin of the affected site may eventually become more visible; a symptom that can occur with an increased in size of the clot.

Tenderness as one of the signs of a blood clot in leg will likely be on both legs even when the clot is only present in one of the legs.

blood clot in leg tenderness

4. Fever

Blood clots in legs may result to mild fever in patients. This can be determined with a display of increase in general body temperature, shivering, sweating, persistent headaches, reduced appetite, and general body weakness.

Extreme situations will result to hallucinations and confusion of the patient. These disturbing symptoms of a blood clot in leg come about when the temperature of the body settles at a range of 39.5 to 41.5 degrees Celsius.

5. Fatigue

The body’s defense system is naturally in a position to work overtime, anytime it needs to respond to medical disorders in the body. The development of blood clots is not an exception.

The tireless working of body organs can lead to exhaustion as well as fatigue of the body systems. It may occur anytime but if the patient feels to be a frequent victim of fatigue, it is advised for the individual to seek medical attention to determine the root cause behind the onset of fatigue.

As one of the symptoms of a blood clot in the leg that seems nonspecific, the onset of fatigue can actually take place without any apparent reason, without any activity involved.

6. Increased heart rate

An increase in the size of the clot in the leg may call for measures by the body to aim at eradicating the blood clot faster. The body organs tend to become overworked and therefore, an increased heartbeat rate will be noticed.

In severe cases, an increase in heart rate results from the movement of the clot to a more serious organ or location such as the heart, lungs, and the brain. Deep breathing, stabbing chest pains, and excessive fatigue will be eventually experienced by the patient.

7. Fainting

Blood clot leg symptoms also comprise the possibility of fainting episodes. But the symptom is hardly associated with the blood clot in the leg. This is due to the non-specific nature where it occurs when least expected.

Fainting and dizziness are two connected symptoms that happen when the body can no longer deal with the blood clots naturally.

It is common when already at a point where the individual finds difficulty in breathing and hence, lacks sufficient oxygen that results to fainting.

Dizziness may occur after the individual sits for long periods and suddenly stands to walk.

blood clot in leg fainting

8. Distended Veins

The developed blood clots may also lead to sudden distension in the surface of the veins or around the site of the leg where it developed. This will be a cause of alarm that should be considered especially in patients where there have been no other similar distensions found in any other parts of the body.

However, the distended veins, in most cases, do not result to further problems or complication. But consider that blood clots put a lot of pressure on nearby blood vessels, leading to possible internal raptures, intensified redness, and extensive bruising on the area.

9. Changes in color

A blood clot in the leg makes the skin appear red or pale in color.

In comparison to the unaffected leg, or other areas of the leg other than the affected site, the redness on the skin looks more concentrated. This can also be an indication that the skin is tender and the swelling makes the blood accumulation slightly visible through the skin.

However, color changes is more evident in individuals with lighter skins and it may not be easy to notice the difference if the skin is dark.

blood clot in leg redness

10. No signs and symptoms

In some patients, there may totally be no leg blood clot symptoms displayed but this is not an unusual situation. There have already been several cases where the individual does not show any of the signs of blood clot in leg mentioned above.

Actually, only thirty percent of patients suffering from the disorder show the signs. The developed blood clot in leg symptoms may be too mild to be noticed by the patients. It is advisable to follow regular medical check-ups to ensure safety from such blood clot disorders.

Deep-Vein-Thrombosis-Infographic

Key Takeaway:

Symptoms of blood clots in legs as to what have been described in this post may not give a definite indication that the person is a victim of developed blood clot. Nevertheless, it is always advised that suspicions must be supported with regular medical check-ups to ascertain the factors that may have lead to such symptoms.

blood clot progression

When confirmed that the symptoms are due to a blood clot, appropriate and immediate treatment will be necessary in order to avoid life-threatening complications such as pulmonary embolism and heart attacks.


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Updated:

About the Author:

Melissa Gomez, RN, MSN is a board certified nurse and has been a contributing writer for the past five years. Ms. Gomez has a special focus on platelet-related illness prevention and health promotion.

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