Blood Clot in the Foot: Symptoms, Signs & Treatment

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  • 0:04 The Human Body
  • 1:03 Blood Clot: Symptoms
  • 1:52 Blood Clot: Signs
  • 3:07 Blood Clot: Treatment
  • 4:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Misty Baker

Dr. Baker has a doctorate in podiatric medicine and practiced medicine in both the hospital and private practice atmosphere.

In this lesson, we'll examine the most common symptoms, signs and treatment of blood clots within the foot. We'll also explore how serious this condition could be if not promptly recognized and treated.

The Human Body

Everyone knows that when your feet hurt, your whole body can hurt. We also understand the importance of our feet. They are essential in daily living as the transporter of our bodies from point A to point B. You probably also know that our bodies require oxygen to survive. We breathe oxygen from the air into our lungs. As our blood passes through our lungs, it picks up the oxygen. This oxygenated blood travels through the equivalent of 60,000 miles of blood vessels, delivering oxygen to the more than 37 trillion cells that make up the human body. Our bodies are amazing, right?

But there are many times where our bodies can malfunction. One such occurrence involves a situation where blood forms a clot within a blood vessel. We'll be discussing the symptoms, signs, and treatment of a blood clot, particularly within the foot, which, when left undetected, can lead to a life-threatening situation.

Blood Clot: Symptoms

Symptoms are feelings that a patient is experiencing. Two most common symptoms that a person might complain of when experiencing a blood clot in the foot include pain and tingling. Let's start with pain. That sounds obvious, right? But an individual suffering from a blood clot in the foot typically describes a radiating or shooting type of pain that extends to the tip of the toes. The pain is commonly described as so constant and severe that it prevents a person from sleeping or even walking. Sometimes, a patient may describe this pain as accompanied by a burning sensation.

Secondly, a patient may experience and complain of a tingling sensation within the affected foot. This numbness or tingling, if not normal for the individual, should definitely serve as a red flag for the presence of a blood clot.

Blood Clot: Signs

Signs are physical indicators that a problem is present. There are several signs that signal a high probability that a blood clot is present within a foot, like discoloration, swelling, and warmth.

When a blood clot is present, discoloration associated with the area of the clot and area below the clot is usually present. If witnessed in the early stages of a clot, the discoloration takes on a red appearance as compared to the same area on the opposing foot. In later stages of a clot, the discoloration could present as a pale or dusky appearance.

Swelling, or edema, within the foot is another common sign of a blood clot. Swelling in the lower leg can be a common finding in many individuals. One way to eliminate that it's due to other, more common causes of swelling in the foot or ankle is to elevate the foot to a level above the heart. If the swelling does not subside after simple elevation, a blood clot could be present.

Warmth in an area of a blood clot is usually present. Always feel the affected leg from the thigh down to the toes. Does the temperature increase as you get to the foot and further away from the heart? If so, consider the finding abnormal, and an indication of a possible blood clot.

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