What is the presentation of pain in deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Leg pain occurs in 50% of patients, but this is entirely nonspecific. Pain can occur on dorsiflexion of the foot (Homans sign). Tenderness occurs in 75% of patients but is also found in 50% of patients without objectively confirmed DVT. When tenderness is present, it is usually confined to the calf muscles or along the course of the deep veins in the medial thigh. Pain and/or tenderness away from these areas is not consistent with venous thrombosis and usually indicates another diagnosis. The pain and tenderness associated with DVT does not usually correlate with the size, location, or extent of the thrombus. Warmth or erythema of skin can be present over the area of thrombosis.


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