Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Aurora Foot & Ankle Clinic - Foot Problems

From routine checkups to treatments for surgery, Aurora Foot & Ankle Clinic is equipped to handle all your podiatric needs. To help you understand your options, we've included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.

Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, often resulting in one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle to be stretched or torn. If not properly treated, ankle sprains could develop into long-term problems. 

Bunions
Bunions are misaligned big toe joints that can become swollen and tender, causing the first joint of the big toe to slant outward, and the second joint to angle toward the other toes. 

Flat Feet
Flat feet are a common condition. In infants and toddlers, the longitudinal arch is not developed and flat feet are normal. The arch develops in childhood, and by adulthood, most people have developed normal arches. 

Hammertoes
Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and require surgery.

Diabetes and Your Feet
With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that's too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal.

Heel Pain
Plantar fasciitis (or heel pain) is commonly traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Our practice can evaluate arch pain, and may prescribe customized shoe inserts called orthoses to help alleviate the pain. 

Corns
Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet.

Athlete's Foot
A chronic infection caused by various types of fungus, Athlete's foot is often spread in places where people go barefoot such as public showers or swimming pools. 

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
The blood supply of the leg is transported by arteries and veins. The arteries carry blood from the heart to the limbs; veins carry blood back to the heart. The leg contains superficial veins, which are close to the surface, and deep veins, which lie much deeper in the leg. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot (a blockage) forms in a deep vein. While these clots most commonly occur in the veins of the leg (the calf or thigh), they can also develop in other parts of the body. 

DVT can be very dangerous and is considered a medical emergency. If the clot (also known as a thrombus) breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream, it can lodge in the lung. This blockage in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism, can make it difficult to breathe and may even cause death. Blood clots in the thigh are more likely to cause a pulmonary embolism than those in the calf.

Risk Factors for DVT:

Blood or vein conditions: 

  • Previous DVT
  • Varicose veins
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Family history of DVT or blood-clotting disorders

Other medical conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Chronic swelling of the legs
  • Obesity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer
  • Dehydration
  • Sepsis

Women's Health issues:

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Birth control pills containing estrogen
  • Pregnancy or recent childbirth

Other:

  • Age over 40 years old
  • Immobility (through inactivity or from wearing a cast)
  • Recent surgery
  • Trauma (an injury)
  • Smoking

Causes of DVT  
Many factors can contribute to the formation of a DVT. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their risk of having a DVT. However, even people without these risk factors can form a DVT.

Signs and Symptoms of DVT in the Leg
Some people with DVT in the leg have either no warning signs at all or very vague symptoms. If any of the following warning signs or symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation:

  • Swelling in the leg
  • Pain in the calf or thigh
  • Warmth and redness of the leg

Diagnosis
DVT can be difficult to diagnose, especially if the patient has no symptoms. Diagnosis is also challenging because of the similarities between symptoms of DVT and those of other conditions such as a pulled muscle, an infection, a clot in a superficial vein (thrombophlebitis), a fracture, and arthritis.

If DVT is suspected, the doctor will immediately send the patient to a vascular laboratory or a hospital for testing, which may include a blood test, Doppler ultrasound, venogram, MRI, or angiogram.

Treatment of DVT
If tests indicate a clot is present, the doctor will make a recommendation regarding treatment. Depending on the location of the clot, the patient may need hospitalization. Medical or surgical care will be managed by a team of physicians which may include a primary care physician, internist, vascular (blood vessel) surgeon, or hematologist (blood disease specialist).

Treatment may include:

  • Medication. A blood-thinning medication is usually prescribed to help prevent additional clots from forming.
  • Compression stockings. Wearing fitted hosiery decreases pain and swelling.
  • Surgery. A surgical procedure performed by a vascular specialist may be required.

Complications of DVT
An early and extremely serious complication of DVT is a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism develops if the clot breaks loose and travels to the lung. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • A feeling of impending doom

A long-term consequence of DVT is damage to the vein from the clot. This damage often results in persistent swelling, pain and discoloration of the leg.

Preventative Measures
For those who have risk factors for DVT, these strategies may reduce the likelihood of developing a blood clot:

  • Take blood-thinning medication, if prescribed.
  • Reduce risk factors that can be changed. For example, stop smoking and lose excess weight.
  • During periods of prolonged immobility, such as on long trips.
    • Exercise legs every 2 to 3 hours to get the blood flowing back to the heart. Walk up and down the aisle of a plane or train, rotate ankles while sitting, and take regular breaks on road trips.
    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids; avoid alcohol and caffeine.
    • Consider wearing compression stockings.

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or question about podiatry!
Main Office #: (604) 248-8985
Main Fax: 604-248-8986

Our Location

Office Hours
Monday:1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday:1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday:9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Saturday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday:Closed