Foot Thrombosis: Causes, Risk Factors, Signs, Symptoms, Complications, Treatment and Prevention

Blood is supplied to the legs by transporting it with the help of arteries and veins.

Blood is carried to the leg from the heart through arteries, and the veins carry blood to the heart from the extremities.

There are two types of veins in the legs; the superficial veins that are on the surface and the deep veins that are placed deeper within the legs.

The condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep vein of the leg is called deep vein thrombosis.

Deep vein thrombosis can occur anywhere in the body, but it mainly occurs in the extremities. Deep vein thrombosis or deep vein thrombosis is a very serious and dangerous condition and requires immediate medical assistance.

The thrombus or clot can even break off and travel to the lung through the bloodstream.

If the thrombus blocks the lung, it becomes very difficult to breathe, and when conditions worsen, it can lead to the death of the patient.

Causes of deep vein thrombosis?

Before getting into the details of what causes deep vein thrombosis, it is essential to understand what deep vein thrombosis is. Deep vein thrombosis or known as deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that occurs in the veins.

And most importantly, the appearance occurs on the legs, but it can also appear on different parts of the body.

Unlike acting directly, deep vein thrombosis is a part of venous thromboembolism. Venous means veins and thrombosis is a barricade by a blood vessel due to the blood clot.

Embolism occurs when the thrombus dislocates from its original position and begins to travel in the bloodstream.

Due to this, it further becomes a narrower blood vessel blockage in different parts of the body.

The whole situation is embolism, and pulmonary embolism occurs when the thrombus detaches from the deep cerebral thrombosis and gets stuck in any of the blood vessels in the lung.

There is no apparent reason for the development of deep vein thrombosis. Blood flows quickly through the veins without turning solid.

In addition, the movement of the leg provides the necessary support for blood to flow freely in the leg veins due to the compressive action of the muscles.

However, the following factors could trigger the formation of blood clots in the veins of the legs and pose a risk and development of deep vein thrombosis:


A surgical operation in which the patient underwent an anesthetic effect that lasted for more than two hours, making it difficult for the leg muscles to return to normal.

An injury or illness that makes it impossible for the person to be mobile. For example, a person with either leg in a hard cast after a fracture

Long trips can also pose a slight increase in the risk of deep vein thrombosis, as there is no mobility for the individual.

Any damage to the inner lining of the vein increases the chances of clot formation.

For example, if there was previously damage due to injury to the vein lining, the person may experience deep vein thrombosis in the near future.

Apart from this, inflammation of the vein walls and certain medications can also increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

The use of hormone replacement therapy and the contraceptive pill also increases the risk of blood clots.

Obesity, smoking, pregnancy, the elderly, and patients with symptoms of cancer and heart failure are at increased risk for deep vein thrombosis.

Can you have deep vein thrombosis in your foot?

Blood clotting and deep vein thrombosis in the calves are not as risky as clots that occur in the thighs. You may even have deep vein thrombosis or deep vein thrombosis in your foot, making it difficult for you to move.

There are several main reasons that lead to the formation of deep vein thrombosis.

The higher the risk factors, the greater the chance that the person will develop deep vein thrombosis. Even a person without risk factors can develop deep vein thrombosis in the foot.

What are the various risk factors that can cause deep vein thrombosis in your foot?

Conditions in the veins or blood, such as varicose veins, disorders related to blood clotting, previous cases of deep vein thrombosis, and a family history of deep vein thrombosis or blood clotting disorders.

Medical conditions such as obesity, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, sepsis, dehydration, and chronic swelling of the feet or legs can lead to deep vein thrombosis.

Health conditions related to women such as recent pregnancy and childbirth, the use of birth control pills that contain high levels of estrogen, and hormone replacement therapy can also cause deep vein thrombosis.

Other conditions including smoking, recent surgery, trauma from an accident or surgery, age (when over 40 years old), and the development of immobility when wearing a cast or due to inactivity are also reasons for deep vein thrombosis.

What are the possible signs and symptoms that suggest you have deep vein thrombosis in the foot?

The signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis in the foot are often very vague or have no symptoms at all. If symptoms start to develop, warning signs to look for and a doctor to watch out for are:

  • Foot, calf, or thigh pain.
  • Foot redness and warmth in the leg and foot.
  • Swelling of the leg, foot.

These signs require immediate medical attention and only after proper testing and diagnosis can a doctor confirm whether you have deep vein thrombosis or deep vein thrombosis in the foot.

Signs you may be at risk for deep vein thrombosis

Here’s how to identify and lower your risk for blood clot problems.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your body, usually in the legs.

Symptoms can range from nothing to swelling, pain, cramps, soreness, discoloration, or even a feeling of warmth in the leg (s).

But the real problem begins if one of these clots breaks free and moves into the lungs.

Having deep vein thrombosis in the leg is usually not a big problem. But if it reaches the lungs, it can block blood flow, which is really dangerous and possibly deadly.

You have inherited some risk

Some people simply inherit a disorder that makes their blood clot more easily (Factor V Leiden, for example).

But this condition by itself is not a guarantee of problems. However, it increases the likelihood of problems when combined with other risk factors, such as age.

Blood clots can occur at any time in life, but are more common after age 40; that risk rises even higher after age 60. Add obesity to this equation and you’ll up the ante even more.

So while you can’t turn back time or change your genetics, you can control your weight.

You feel too much

Whether it’s because they’re sitting for several hours on a transatlantic flight or confined to a hospital bed after surgery, even healthy, active people experience an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis when they don’t move for long periods of time.

This is because your calf muscles contract when you walk, helping blood flow. If you are on a long-haul flight, it is recommended to get up and move every 30 to 60 minutes.

And even when you’re sitting, you can flex your foot back and forth, helping to contract your calf.

Compression socks can also be helpful because they apply gentle pressure to the calf, ankle, and foot, decreasing swelling and promoting proper circulation.

Your hormones are in flux

It’s a double whammy for women here. When you are pregnant, increased pressure on your pelvis and legs also affects your veins, increasing the chance of deep vein thrombosis.

This is especially true if you also have a family history of clotting problems.

Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy have also been linked to deep vein thrombosis, as the estrogen in these medications can increase the blood’s ability to clot.

You are obese or a smoker

Having a BMI (or body mass index) greater than 30 increases the chances of deep vein thrombosis. This measurement indicates how much body fat you have compared to your height and weight.

Fortunately, this is not a problem for many, if not most riders, who keep the weight down by spinning the kays on their bike. Most also do not smoke, which is another risk factor for deep vein thrombosis.

Smoking makes your blood stickier than normal and also damages the lining of the blood vessel, increasing the possibility of clots.

You have had cancer, heart problems, or surgery

Surgery, cancer, heart failure, or even an irregular heartbeat can contribute to an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Surgery, especially when below the waist, ups the ante, as it often renders you temporarily immobile and also from inherent damage to blood vessels during the procedure.

Meanwhile, cancer patients have seen an increased incidence of deep vein thrombosis, which has been linked to chemotherapy treatment.

In cases of heart failure, the body’s ability to pump blood is reduced, increasing the likelihood and impact of deep vein thrombosis.

And people with irregular heartbeats are more susceptible to blood not being pumped through the heart’s ventricles.

What are the complications that can develop due to deep vein thrombosis in the foot?

One of the very serious and imminent complications that can arise from deep vein thrombosis or deep vein thrombosis in the foot or deep vein thrombosis in the leg is pulmonary embolism or PE.

Pulmonary embolism occurs when the blood clot in your foot travels to the blood vessels in the lung after breaking free.

Common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath or shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood and choking sensation, loss of life, and impending death.

If the blood clot that causes deep vein thrombosis stays in your foot for too long, the vein containing the blood clot will be severely and permanently damaged.

Severe vein damage can be recognized by signs such as persistent swelling of the foot, ongoing pain, and discoloration of the foot and leg.

When to see a doctor

When should you see a doctor if you are concerned about deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis in the foot is a serious medical condition. You should call your doctor immediately if you think you are experiencing symptoms of deep vein thrombosis in the foot, or go to the nearest emergency room.

A healthcare provider can review your symptoms, review your medical history, and then advise you of the best course of action. For the rest, we can say that deep vein thrombosis in the foot is a medical emergency.

However, if the discomfort persists and is not due to any injury, we should always think about a deep vein thrombosis in the foot.

If you think you don’t have deep vein thrombosis in your foot, but are concerned you may be at risk, you can schedule a regular appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can inform you if preventive treatment may be an option for you.

What are the treatment options for deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis in foot treatments focuses on preventing the clot from growing. Also, treatment will try to prevent a pulmonary embolism and lower the risk of having more clots.


It is important to drink plenty of fluids while you are in the hospital to prevent dehydration. If you are unable to drink, your doctor may have you give you fluids through an IV drip.


You should get out of bed and walk around as soon as your condition allows. This will improve the flow of blood in the veins. If you can’t walk, it helps if you can exercise your legs. After you have started walking, the exercises can be stopped.


Your doctor may prescribe medications that thin your blood, such as heparin, warfarin, enoxaparin, or fondaparinux. This makes it harder for the blood to clot.

It also keeps existing clots as small as possible and lowers the chance that you will develop more clots.

Oral anticoagulants

For some conditions, particularly hip and knee replacements, a tablet may be prescribed to prevent blood clots.

You must follow the instructions given to you on how to take this medicine and complete the course, which will generally continue after discharge.

Anticoagulants are medicines that reduce the blood’s ability to form clots. By doing this, they can increase the chances of bleeding, so it is not a suitable treatment for everyone.

If blood thinners don’t work, or if you have a severe case of deep vein thrombosis in your foot, your doctor may use thrombolytic medications. Thrombolytic drugs work by breaking clots. You will receive these through an IV.

Heparin injections

Heparin is a blood thinner that is usually given as a small daily injection under the skin in the abdomen. The injections are usually not painful, but they can sometimes cause small bruises to appear.

At the injection site. Heparin is a very effective way to stop clots from forming. If your illness means that you are likely to stay in bed for more than three days, you should be considered for this treatment.

Graduated compression stockings

Some patients benefit from wearing stockings, particularly after an operation.

Wearing compression stockings can prevent swelling and lower your chances of developing clots. They do not demonstrate a reduction in recurrent deep vein thrombosis in the foot.

Compression stockings reach just below or just above your knee. Stockings work by putting pressure on the veins, which is greater at the ankle than at the knee, thus squeezing the blood into the leg. Your doctor may recommend that you use these every day.

You should wear them for as long as you are still, but should be removed at least daily to check that the skin under the heel is not sore and to allow washing.

It is important to have your leg measured before adjusting the stocking to ensure that you have been given the correct size of the stocking. Some patients, for example those with arterial problems or leg ulcers, should not wear stockings.

You may be sent home in these stockings if you are not walking properly before leaving the hospital. You can stop wearing the stockings once you have returned to your normal level of mobility. Your nurse will have taught you how to put the stockings on correctly.

Intermittent compression devices

For some patients who cannot wear stockings, a cuff may be wrapped around their foot or lower leg.

This is connected to a pump that squeezes the cuff intermittently and helps push blood through the veins, thereby improving circulation and reducing the chances of blood clots.


You may need to place a filter inside the large abdominal vein called the vena cava if you cannot take blood thinners. This form of treatment helps prevent pulmonary embolisms by preventing clots from entering your lungs.

However, there is a risk of filters being fitted. If left long-term, they can cause a deep vein thrombosis in the foot. They should be used short-term until the risk of thromboembolism is reduced and anticoagulation can be used.

After your discharge from the hospital

The chance that you will develop a deep vein thrombosis in your foot remains high in the four weeks after discharge, especially if you have had major surgery or severe illness.

Your doctor may feel that this risk is so great that you need to continue receiving heparin injections at home. If you need more injections, the ward staff will teach you how to inject yourself or ask a nurse to visit you at home to administer it.

It is advisable to avoid long-distance travel (more than three hours) for four weeks after surgery, as this can increase the chances of developing a deep vein thrombosis in the foot.

The risk of developing a blood clot increases up to three months after your hospitalization. If you develop any of the following symptoms after your discharge, you should see an emergency doctor.

  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Discoloration in one of your legs or if you are short of breath or have chest pain.

If you have any concerns regarding deep vein thrombosis in the foot and its prevention, especially if you feel that you have a risk factor that has been overlooked and / or that you are not receiving adequate protection measures, please tell your nurse. or doctor as soon as possible.

What are the complications associated with deep vein thrombosis?

A major complication of deep vein thrombosis in the foot is a pulmonary embolism.

You can develop a pulmonary embolism if a blood clot moves to your lungs and blocks a blood vessel. This can cause serious damage to your lungs and other parts of your body.

You should get immediate medical help if you have signs of a pulmonary embolism. These signs include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Perspiration.
  • Chest pain that gets worse when you cough or inhale deeply.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Coughing up blood
  • Elevated heart rate

Thrombosis, long-term sequelae

One year after a thrombosis, constant leg discomfort persists in all other patients.

By long-term sequelae, we mean symptoms or signs that persist for months or years after an illness.

One year after suffering a deep vein thrombosis in the foot, all other patients continue to report constant discomfort in the legs, that is, pain, cramps, tingling, itching, a severe sensation or swelling, or a combination of the above.

Also, when examining the leg, it may appear slightly swollen, especially above the ankle, and the color of the skin may change and become darker.

If this continues, sores may appear that are usually not painful, but can easily become infected and ooze.

To prevent such complications, doctors recommend that patients walk frequently, do not sit cross-legged, and when possible raise the leg slightly when sitting. When standing, a strong compression stocking should be worn.

How do I prevent deep vein thrombosis?

You can reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis in your foot by making some lifestyle changes. This includes keeping your blood pressure under control, quitting smoking, and losing weight if you are overweight.

Moving your legs when you’ve been sitting for a while also helps blood flow. Walking around after you are on bed rest can prevent clots from forming.

Take any blood thinners your doctor prescribes if you are having surgery, as this can reduce the chance of developing clots later.

The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis in the foot while traveling is low, but increases if you are sitting for more than four hours in a row while driving or flying.

You can reduce your risk by moving from time to time; Get out of your car and move at intervals during long drives. Walk the aisles if you are flying, taking a train, or riding a bus.

Stretch your legs and feet while sitting, this keeps your blood constantly moving in your calves. Do not wear tight clothing that can restrict blood flow.