Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Understanding Thrombophlebitis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    How Do I Know If I Have Thrombophlebitis?

    The discomfort and appearance of a leg affected with thrombophlebitis is usually enough for a doctor to diagnose this condition. Taking your pulse and blood pressure also can help. But depending on the blood vessel involved, symptoms may or may not be obvious, and your doctor may have to order tests to determine whether this condition is causing problems.

    Ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer to create images of the affected area to help your doctor determine if a clot is present and blocking the blood flow. Veins with a healthy circulation look different than a vessel with thrombophlebitis.

    Recommended Related to Pain Management

    Antithrombin Deficiency

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Antithrombin Deficiency is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Read the Antithrombin Deficiency article > >

    But there are some veins in the leg that don't show up well on ultrasound, especially the deep veins close to the knee. It can be difficult or impossible to tell if you have circulation problems present in these "blind spots." Your doctor may perform an older test called a venogram, where dye is injected into the foot and is directed into the affected vessel as the blood makes its way back to the heart. The dye will show up on X-ray, giving a picture of the inside of the vein. The clots themselves don't show up, but your doctor can tell how much dye is traveling through the leg and note where blood flow stops due to the clot.

    A blood test can also be done to check for a substance called D-dimer. D-dimer is formed when blood clots are broken down. A negative test significantly lowers the likelihood of a clot. A positive test may indicate a clot, but it also can indicate other causes.

    What Is the Treatment for Thrombophlebitis?

    Treatment for thrombophlebitis varies according to severity. When a superficial blood vessel is involved, the condition may begin to get better in a week or two. Treatment focuses on reducing swelling and pain. All you may need is to take over-the-counter aspirin or ibuprofen and apply heat to the leg for 15 to 30 minutes two to three times daily.

    Some people may need to wear support hose or stockings or have their leg wrapped to apply pressure to the leg and reduce swelling. Elevating the leg can also prevent excess fluid from pooling in the affected area.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.