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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Can strenuous exercise give clots?

03/11/2009

Question:

I am a 40 year old woman and am a carrier for FVL V. I have had 3 clots in my left leg and a possible PE that went undiagnosed while in college. I am very athletic and train on an elliptical trainer, treadmill, and do step aerobics.

My last clot progressed up the entire length of my great saphenous vein, now I take warfarin. This last clot suddenly appeared after I had been training for a month. Now I’m trying to get back into condition but am troubled by poor circulation in that leg, post-thrombotic syndrome. I am also more prone to injury in that leg (e.g. I was told I have ‘runner’s knee’).

Have any studies been done on decreased blood flow due to DVT and an increase in injuries and/or clots in the affected area? I was given compression stockings, which makes the pain worse :-(. I have a consultation with a vein surgeon next week to see if they can do anything for me.

Answer:

There is really no clear association between injuries to the lower extremities and DVTs or post-phlebitic syndrome. The post-phlebitic syndrome leads to decreased venous drainage and swelling, but typically the arterial circulation is not affected.

Typically chronic swelling (usually requiring compression stockings) is what is seen with post-phlebitic syndromes. I hope this helps out somewhat.

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Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University