Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a condition affecting the lower extremities characterized by seriously damaged veins after suffering from another condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT develops when a blood clot occurs in a major vein. It is a very common condition among people 65 years old and above. However, anyone, regardless of age or gender, can develop one anytime.
Symptoms and signs
The most common symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome are the following:
- Throbbing pain, ache, or a feeling heaviness in the leg or foot;
- A feeling of cramping, itching, and tingling in the lower extremities;
- Swollen legs after walking or standing for an extended period but gets better when rested or raised;
- Ulcers or sores on the legs; and
- Brownish or bluish discoloration appears on the legs.
PTS is a common complication of DVT. When someone with DVT is not treated right away, there will be severe damages to the walls and valves of the vein, which can leave them seriously scarred. A scarred vein can no longer function in the same capacity as an undamaged vein as it cannot expand or stretch the same way when there is an increase in blood flow. When this happens, people with PTS will experience excruciating pain and swelling in their legs.
Living with PTS is not an easy thing. Treatments can alleviate some of your symptoms, but they may not be able to take them all away. Some people find it helpful to do exercises like daily walking and ankle flexing. You can also raise your legs for several minutes a few times a day.
It’s not easy living with PTS, but it’s manageable with proper treatment. But the best way to treat PTS is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Early diagnosis and treatment of DVT is the only way to prevent you from having PTS.