Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition where a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually the legs.

This condition is not life-threatening UNLESS a small piece of the clot (called an embolus) breaks off, travels in the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a vital blood vessel, blocking the blood supply. Death can then result.

What does it feel like?

A number of issues and symptoms can arise as a result of DVT, including:

  • Pain and tenderness in the leg (typically the calf muscle)
  • Pain which is made worse with exercise
  • Slight increase in tissue temperature
  • Lower leg, ankle and/or foot swelling
  • Blue/purple discolouration

Please note that DVT is silent in up to 50% of cases.

What causes or contributes to DVT?

Some factors causing people to be more prone to DVT are:

  • Increasing age
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • History of previous thrombosis
  • Varicose veins
  • Recent surgery (particularly hip and knee)
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Heart failure
  • High cholesterol levels.

Can a DVT be treated?

There are a variety of treatments for DVT including:

  • Blood thinners (medication)
  • Clot busters (medication)
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Compression stockings

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to DVT, come into Riverside Podiatry for a full assessment of your lower limbs, ankles and feet.

How is a DVT diagnosed:

Your podiatrist at Riverside Podiatry will perform a vascular assessment to check the blood flow coming to and going from your feet. If your podiatrist is concerned or suspects a DVT, you will either be advised to go straight to your local emergency department, or to your doctor where they will request a non-invasive colour duplex ultrasound or another form of imaging.


If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, please go straight to your local emergency department:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing