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Leg blood clots: symptoms and diagnosis | Ohio State Medical Center



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The most common blockages outside the heart tend to be in the legs. And they're very common

in smokers and diabetics. The symptoms are called claudication, which is basically discomfort

when people walk. And because of that, a lot of times patients don't even seek medical

attention for that because they think this is just a symptom of arthritis, getting old,

muscle pain and so forth. So unfortunately, a lot of times it goes unrecognized because

the patient don't mention it during their routine physical, or visit with their primary

care physician or occasionally even with the cardiologist. There's this expectation that

as we get older things should hurt when we walk. It's a pain with walking, as I mentioned,

and it's usually consistent, happens at the same distance all the time. And and it gets

to the point it's it's bad, feels like a cramp where people have to stop. And typical to

the claudication, when they stop the pain goes away and usually the amount of time it

takes for the pain to go away is is consistent as well. So people will say I usually walk

two blocks I get the pain I have to stop and then to five minutes after I stop the pain

goes away and I'll be able to walk again. Typically it does not happen when people are

sitting or laying down unless it's really advanced phase where the blockage is so severe

to start to cause pain even without walking or doing activities. It's the same concept.

It starts by defining the blockage, the exact location, the severity of it, how many blockages.

And the way we do that is to what we call an angiogram, which is similar to heart catheterization

in the sense you put a catheter in inject contrast except now we're not looking at the

heart, we're looking at the the legs or whatever location we suspect that there's blockage

there. Once we establish there's blockage then it becomes an issue what's the best way

to treat it. And it's the same as in the heart, some blockages better served with medication

and exercise, some blockages will need surgery to fix and some blockages can be fixed with

a balloon and stent. Which one is the appropriate approach? It's a technical issue really. We

have to see the blockage to to make that determination. Big percentage of patients who have blockages

in their legs and and outside the heart have a higher risk of having blockage in the heart

and vice versa. The disease process it's the it's the same it's what we talked about cholesterol

buildup, an interruption in that smooth layer that line our arteries whether it's in the

heart or outside the heart. The risk factors are the same to cause heart problems or blockages

outside the heart so smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, really there's

a lot of overlap between the two conditions.