Friday, September 30, 2016
Bleeding and Clotting Disorders
A month ago, my father was diagnosed with DVT in his right leg. He is now taking 3 mg of Warfarin daily and as the hospital seemed to have stabilized his condition, he now regularly visits his GP where his blood is tested and monitored.
My father’s leg is still significantly swollen, and he is resting it as much as possible and keeping it up. I would like to know how much he should exercise his leg and how best to reduce the swelling. Is it best to rest it as much as possible or to exercise it? If a balance between rest and exercise is appropriate, how much of each should he typically do each day please? Thank you very much.
After your father has been on the anticoagulation for a couple days, the clot should be stabilized. While gentle exercise will help the venous return, the swelling can also get worse since he will be fighting gravity when walking.
He should be active, but whenever not active he should elevate his legs to help the drainage. He can also talk to his doctor about compression stockings, but make sure you talk to the doctor first to make sure they get fitted properly and are not too tight which could lead to more clots.
More rarely persistent swelling could be due to recurrent clots, but usually there is a lot more pain involved. If there are any concerns, please also bring that up with the doctor.
Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University