How Do You Treat a Blood Clot in Your Leg?

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To treat a blood clot, or thrombosis, in the leg, doctors use medications, such as blood thinners or clotbusters, and implanted blood filters when these medications cannot be used, according to Mayo Clinic. Compression stockings are used to prevent swelling.

A blood clot in the leg, particularly the deep veins, is a dangerous condition, Mayo Clinic says. The blood clot can break free and travel to the lungs, where it blocks blood flow and causes a condition known as pulmonary embolism. Blood thinners and clotbusters are medications intended to dissolve blood clots. Clotbusters are dangerous, however, because they can cause extensive bleeding, so they are used only when blood thinners have failed. An implanted filter is used to catch the blood clot before it can block blood flow to the lungs.

A blood clot in the leg does not necessarily cause any symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. When symptoms are present, they include swelling in the affected leg and pain. The pain often starts in the calf and feels like cramping or a general soreness. If a blood clot breaks free and causes a pulmonary embolism, the symptoms include immediate shortness of breath, chest discomfort that worsens upon deep breaths or coughing, fainting, lightheadedness, rapid pulse and coughing up blood.