A 42-year-old man experienced pain in one leg due to a severe blood clot caused by a sports injury.

Blood clots are small blood clots that form a gel-like substance. While a certain amount of clotting is necessary as it prevents excessive bleeding from cuts, clots that don’t naturally dissolve can cause problems. This is because they can travel to other parts of the body and restrict blood flow.

Serious examples of this are strokes caused by blood clots and pulmonary embolism, when a blood clot travels to the lungs.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one such dangerous condition caused by a blood clot.

This happens when a clot forms in a larger vein, usually in the leg.

This is a cause for concern, as the blood can separate and get into other parts of the body.

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Typical causes of DVT include if you:

  • Are in the hospital or have recently been discharged from the hospital, especially if you cannot move around much, are bedridden
  • Go on a long journey by plane, car or train
  • You are pregnant or if you have had a baby within the previous six weeks
  • Dehydrated.

However, one 42-year-old patient developed a blood clot as a result of a sports injury.

A case study published in Thrombosis Journal details how a former semi-professional soccer player of Polish origin was diagnosed with DVT.

His first symptom was “pain in the right leg”.

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The case study explains: “The patient had been playing football for 10 days prior to this visit and recalled a traumatic injury to the posterior part of the right lower limb.

“He denied experiencing any tearing or popping sensation in his right knee at the time of his index finger injury, and was able to complete the game with only minor discomfort.

“On the third day after the injury, the patient noted severe pain in the knee and lower leg when moving (walking without assistance).

“The patient visited his doctor on the eighth day after the injury and was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury of the right lower limb.

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Testing showed that the patient had a thrombosis and was immediately sent to the emergency room for further evaluation and treatment.

He was prescribed anticoagulants, drugs to prevent blood clotting, including heparin and warfarin.

He was discharged six days later and continued to take warfarin for six months.

However, a year later, he still continued to suffer from “periodic” discomfort in his right lower limb and swelling “often unrelated” to activity. He had surgery on his right knee and attended orthopedic appointments for his treatment.

The study concluded: “This example illustrates the importance of considering deep vein thrombosis when diagnosing sports-related limb injuries.

“DVT is classically associated with venous congestion (slow blood flow), intimal injury (damage to the lining of an artery), and coagulative diathesis (increased tendency to bleed or bruise).

“The estimated incidence of DVT from all causes is 0.5 to 1.6 per 1,000 people per year and may be underestimated due to the number of asymptomatic DVTs.”

Common symptoms of DVT include:

  • Throbbing or cramping pain in one leg (rarely in both legs), usually in the calf or thigh
  • Swelling of one leg (rarely both legs)
  • Warm skin around the painful area
  • Red or darkened skin around the painful area
  • Swollen veins, hard or painful when touched.

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