DailyStrength is undergoing a scheduled site upgrade, we will be launching the morning of Wednesday June 29. During this time, you will not be able to register as a new member or make any new posts.

More DailyStrength
Health Event Calendar
See what's new on the site
Step-by-step Tutorials
How to use DailyStrength
We're on Facebook
Check out our page
Follow us on Twitter
Read our tweets
Get Cool DS Stuff!!!!!
Shirts, Hats, Baby Wear
DVT Behind Knee
Watch this 
View More Posts Ignore
Hello, I'm a 26 y.o. female who was diagnosed with a DVT behind my left knee on 1/30/12. Because of where it is I cannot fully bend or straighten my leg and I'm reduced to limping. Since I was put on treatment (Lovenox & Coumadin) almost a week ago it's gotten better, meaning I can bend my calf closer to my thigh than before, but I still cannot fully straighten it.

I'm wondering, has anyone else had a clot behind the knee? And if so, about how long did it take for the knee to regain its fully mobility? My doctor said the pain would subside in two weeks, and actually there's not much pain now except when I try to straighten or bend my knee beyond its current comfort zone.

A bit more info: I've been wearing Under-Armor-like leggings & wrapping my foot/ankle with Ace bandages. I just got a pair of compression stockings today, which help my leg a little but are uncomfortable at the waist, and I don't know if knee-highs would help seeing as my knee is where the problem is. Any help is much appreciated, thank you!
Posted on 02/05/12, 04:32 pm
11 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Reply
Reminder: This is a support group for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). We trust you will do your best to remain positive and helpful. For more information, see our rules of the road.

You may also create your own Member Groups where you can moderate the discussion.
Email me when others reply to this topic help
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #1 - 02/05/12  5:02pm
" My first DVT in 2005 was behind the lower knee and extended down the leg about ten inches or so.

It is hard to say when your leg will have full mobility again. In fact any question that you have that starts with "How long ... " or "When will ... " does not have a solid answer. Every clot is different and every patient is different.

For example, with my first DVT, it took me about two years to be 100% again. I mean, I was a lot better within a few months, but I kept seeing improvement up to about two years. With my second DVT, which we caught much, MUCH earlier, I felt 100% in about a week. The second DVT was very close to the original one in location.

So yeah, somewhere between a week and two years for me ... It can depend on how quickly the clot is caught, what kind of shape you were in before the clot, how severe the clot is, how large the clot is, how well your body dissolves the clot, and so on. Very individual.

I can tell you that if you're less than a week out and already don't have too much pain, you're probably on the fast track to recovery. But, still, I can't say how long that'll be. I limped for a long time because of the pain and tight feelings in my leg. Even now, I can drop into a limp unconsciously if I'm really tired.

You might try some thigh-high compression stockings. I've used those most of the time and been happy with them. The knee-highs always sounded really uncomfortable to me.

And, also, don't be surprised if you still have pain after two weeks or if you still get twinges and weird feelings for several months. That clot has caused damage in your leg and even if it disappears tomorrow, all that damage has to heal. Many doctors tell us pain will be gone a lot sooner than it really is ... just don't want you to be disappointed or feel like you are doing something wrong if it doesn't work out that way.

Also, I was always most comfortable keeping my leg elevated and with light heat on it. That helped me for a long time after my first clot.

Best wishes! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #2 - 02/05/12  7:30pm
" Thank you for the reply! After reading your comment and looking around this site some more, I'm starting to see how very individual these things are. And I'm going to try the thigh-high stockings.

And just wondering: how can you tell if a clot was caught earlier or later in its progress? Is there some symptom that indicates the start of a clot? I had some pain, and very slight swelling, for about a week and a half before I was diagnosed. The swelling only got really bad the day before I went in, though. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #3 - 02/05/12  11:55pm
" Well .... honestly, I can't say what age my clots were.

I know with the first one, I didn't know what was going on. I waited, I think, five plus days to see a doctor. I only saw the doctor because my chiropractor sent me after he saw me during my weekly visit. At that point, I was almost unable to walk and had missed a day of work from the pain. Just didn't occur to me that I should see a doctor or, maybe even, go to the ER. I had never had anything like that happen and (being 30 at the time) hadn't ever had any serious medical issues. I honestly think if I had gone in sooner, I would have had less pain, less swelling, and less recovery time. I really have no idea how much damage was done during those days that I delayed.

My second DVT was four years after my first. My leg felt "funny" in a way that reminded me of the first DVT. I was at the doctor's office within 24 hours. Happily, she took me seriously and my second DVT was diagnosed the same afternoon I saw her. With that clot, I didn't give it time to progress to the level of pain, swelling, and discomfort as the first one. Less damage, for me, meant less time having to recover.

So, you're right in that I don't know how long the clot had been there in either case. I only acted on the pain when it revealed itself to me. But the difference in recovery time -- two years vs. one week -- to me strongly suggests an advantage in being diagnosed quickly with these things. Obviously a fast diagnosis also means you are at less risk of having the clots break off and travel, but it also (to me) indicates that you'll be able to recover faster.

Of course, this is based on my own personal experience, so others may have different stories.

Also, not all clots have typical symptoms. Some folks have tons of symptoms and some have none. Lots of people over on the PE (pulmonary embolism) group never had symptoms of a DVT and only found out they had one after clots had already made it to their lungs. When I had my PEs, I also had no symptoms of a DVT.

One last thing ... they can usually tell during the leg ultrasound if a clot is acute or chronic. A newer (acute) clot tends to be more soft and squishy. And older clot (chronic, like mine) tends to be more solid and stable. During the ultrasound to diagnosis the clot, they may have pushed hard into your leg with the ultrasound device a few times near the clot area. They do that to get an idea of how "squishy" the clot is and how new it might be. In fact, I had an ultrasound last Thrusday (for other reasons) and the tech still did that over my clot, even though I had warned him that it was there and was chronic.

Sorry, that was long-winded! Hope I helped explain some things though...

Best wishes! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #4 - 02/06/12  9:17am
" I think they can tell by the ultrasound if the clot is new or old but to pin point it specifically in terms of where it was in progress, not sure.

I had my PE symptoms a couple of months before I ever had the DVT symptoms. My doc thinks the DVT had been there though, and it's just that the symptoms didn't start occurring until a few weeks before I collapsed from the PE. So I think it's very plausible to have had no real DVT symptoms while still having a DVT. Of course, in the end, new,. old, it doesn't really matter. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #5 - 02/07/12  7:37am
" As you know, everyone recovers at their own rate. I was a 23yo female when I had two DVTS (one behind the lower portion of my knee). I was on crutches for 2 weeks, lost the limp after 4-5 weeks, but didn't regain full flexibility for several months -- nothing others noticed, but in my stretching I knew what was missing.

If you work at it, you can hopefully get back to where you were. I have! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #6 - 02/10/12  3:43am
" I had a clot behind my left knee too back in August, in the popliteal space and extending into my calf. I don't know exactly when it was gone but it was somewhere between 2 months and 5 months. My leg never swelled up a ton to begin with, just felt swollen and cramped, but it does still swell and feels more achey after being in my feet all day or walking too much. Ive been wearing the thigh high stocks since I got therapeutic and will continue to wear them per my doctor's request. I recommend the Medi thigh high with open toe, they are the most comfortable in my opinion and don't get runs like some of the othersive tried. I find if you keep your legs moisturized every day they stay up really well and make your legs feel a lot better.

Good luck! "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #7 - 02/17/12  7:36pm
" I was diagnosed with DVT in my left leg one week ago by the ER. I had been on crutches for a week dealing with the pain, getting through work, thinking I had pulled a muscle. I was surprised to learn about the clot in my leg bc I am overall very healthy food wise and exercise wise. I was put on Coumadin (orally once a day) & Lovenex (self injection twice a day). I had my first INR test yesterday and today (today makes one week since I was in the ER), and my INR is right where it needs to be between 2 & 3. I am still on crutches but today was the best day as far as pain has been. I have only needed to take 2 Tylenol this morning.
My leg still won't straighten completely, and it almost looks like theres a little bit of swelling behind the knee. I tried to stretch my leg out but can't quite get it straight. I really want to walk this weekend so I can go back to work without crutches Monday, but I don't want to push myself to hard.
Today the nurse gave me permission to stop the Lovenex self injections, so now I will just be on the Coumadin oral pill.
Wondering if your leg is able to be straightened now completely TossNTurn? "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #8 - 02/17/12  8:48pm
" Absolutely. Been able to straighten it just fine for years now. It does get better. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #9 - 02/22/12  3:23pm
" My clot was behind my knee. I had injured my knee prior to the DVT so I was immobile at the time and didn't actually start walking without a knee brace/crutches until about 2 months after I was diagnosed with the DVT. I actually didn't think I would walk again at the time (looking back I realize I was a bit over dramatic...) Now I don't run as I used to anymore, but that's mostly due to knee overuse problems in my non-DVT knee. "
View More Posts Ignore
Reply #10 - 03/09/12  2:18pm
" I'm a little bit slow to comment, but I'm just getting the hang of the site. :-)

My first DVT was in 1997, from hip to ankle in my left leg. I spent two weeks in ICU, a week on a walker when I got out, and about 3 months on crutches. I was only 19 at the time, so I had no clue what was happening. I thought I had a pulled muscle in my back for 2 weeks before I woke up one morning with a huge blue leg that I couldn't walk on. So, I let mine go on far too long and therefore had much more damage than I should have otherwise.

I've had several DVTs in the same leg since then, until I was finally diagnosed with FVL after the birth of my first child in 2003. I've been on Coumadin nonstop ever since. Other than the first big one, I caught all of the DVTs quickly, so I'm not sure how much additional damage could have been done by those. Because of the damage caused by the first one, I developed PTS pretty quickly afterwards.

That being said, I walk just fine now, except when my leg does the turning purple and swelling thing, lol. I tend to limp a bit when that happens, but other than that, it really doesn't cause many walking problems. I can bend the knee as much as I need to in most cases, but for example, in yoga class, I can't sit with my legs underneath me. The knee won't bend that completely, I would say that I got my full mobility back within 6 months of the first one (as full as it's ever been since then), and within a week or two of the later ones.

Also, keep in mind that you could possibly always have a little pain there. My leg hurts at least a little bit every single day. But you learn what's "normal" for you. "

First | Previous | Page: 1 2 | Next | Most Recent Add Your Reply

More From Around the Web