What is Post-Thrombotic Syndrome

What is Post Thrombotic Syndrome?

At its most basic description, post-thrombotic syndrome, otherwise known as PTS, is a long-term or chronic condition that can occur in individuals who have experienced a deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

Post-thrombotic syndrome is typically caused by damaged leg veins and may also involve valves that encourage proper blood flow from the lower extremities back up to the heart. These valves control the direction of blood flow. Blood clots in the calf leg veins block blood flow. Poor circulation or immobility can also cause inflammation and damage to the valves.

A damaged valve doesn’t work properly and can “leak” if it doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to pool downward around the ankle. As the blood flow in the lower extremity worsens, leg ulcers may appear.

Be aware of symptoms of PST, and take preventive measures that may help reduce risk.

PTS risk factors

Not all patients who experience a deep vein thrombosis are at risk for experiencing PTS. Risks increase for individuals that:

  • have experienced proximal deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot located above the knee;
  • have more than one blood clot in the same leg more than once;
  • continue to experience blood clot symptoms one-month post-blood clot diagnosis;
  • are obese;
  • have difficulty in maintaining optimal success with blood thinner medications during the first three months of starting medications

PTS symptoms     

Based on several recent studies, PTS is an issue that has the potential to develop in approximately half of the patients who have prior experience with a deep vein thrombosis in the leg.

Be aware of the risks and be aware of symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome, which include:

  • Chronic leg pain (the characteristics of leg pain and severity can differ among individuals, such as throbbing, burning, achiness, sharp pain, stabbing pain, and so forth). Pain and swelling may worsen following periods of standing or walking
  • Swelling – some also note a ‘heavy’ feeling in the leg, or tingling and itchy feelings
  • Redness
  • Sores (ulcers)

Prevention is the key to reducing the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome, which has the potential to reduce the quality of life for some individuals. The condition can also be costly to treat.

Take preventive measures to reduce the risk of PTS

Preventing PTS relies on reducing the risk of new or additional blood clots. Talk to your physician regarding treatments that may include the use of high-strength (30 to 40 mm Hg) compression stockings, as well as other compression devices as recommended. Added attention should always be given to prompt treatment of leg ulcers, as a lack of adequate blood flow can slow down healing processes and increase the risk of infections.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Education

Richard Cohen’s Story with Blood Clots

A special thank you to Richard M. Cohen for helping the American Blood Clot Association to educate the public about the danger of blood clots. Mr. Cohen has been the recipient of numerous awards in journalism, including three Emmys, a George Foster Peabody and a Cable Ace Award. He is married to journalist, Meredith Vieira

Read More »
Education

Blood Clot or Charlie Horse?

We’ve all felt it – that teeth-grinding muscle spasm in the arch of the foot, the back of the calf, or the back of the thigh (hamstrings). When do you know if that Charlie Horse is more than a muscle cramp? What if you get them often? How can you tell the difference between a

Read More »
Science

Does Aspirin Cause Blood Clots?

Aspirin is an over-the-counter product that’s been used for generations, not only to reduce pain and fever, but for other benefits as well. Does aspirin cause blood clots? No. That doesn’t mean that using it is without risks for some. One of the benefits of low-dose aspirin (around 75 mg to 80 mg) daily has the potential

Read More »
Prevention

Foods that Prevent Blood Clots

Blood clots form for a number of reasons: a surgical procedure, obesity, a medical condition, or an injury. Blood thinning and anticoagulation medications are commonly prescribed to prevent blood clots for individuals at risk. In addition to medication, a number of foods prove beneficial in preventing the development of blood clots.Blood clots are commonly formed

Read More »
Education

Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

What is a pulmonary embolism? Pulmonary embolism defines the sudden blockage of a pulmonary artery inside the lung by an embolus, typically from a blood clot that has an origin somewhere else in the body, such as a deep vein thrombosis of the leg. When it comes to defining signs and pulmonary embolism symptoms, the

Read More »
Education

How is Someone Tested for Blood Clots?

A definitive diagnosis of the presence of a blood clot can be performed at your doctor’s office or hospital setting. Depending on the suspected location of the blood clot and the type, a physician has a number of options at his or her disposal. Among them include:  Blood tests  CT scans  Ultrasounds  MRIs How do blood

Read More »
Scroll to Top