An elderly patient complains of a painful, tender, cord-like structure, associated with redness and swelling, involving the long saphenous vein, often with varicosities. The condition is Superficial Thrombophlebitis.
Superficial thrombophlebitis is inflammation of a vein just under the skin, usually in the leg. A small blood clot also commonly forms in the vein, but is usually not serious.
Superficial thrombophlebitis signs and symptoms include:
- Warmth, tenderness and pain in the affected area
- Redness and swelling
Deep vein thrombosis signs and symptoms include:
When a vein close to the surface of your skin is affected, you might see a red, hard cord just under the surface of your skin that's tender to the touch. When a deep vein in the leg is affected, your leg may become swollen, tender and painful.
The cause of thrombophlebitis is a blood clot, which can form in your blood as a result of:
- An injury to a vein
- An inherited blood-clotting disorder
- Being immobile for long periods, such as during an injury or a hospital stay
- Be inactive for long period
- Have varicose veins, which are a common cause of superficial thrombophlebitis
- Have a pacemaker or have a thin, flexible tube (catheter) in a central vein, for treatment of a medical condition, which may irritate the blood vessel wall and decrease blood flow
- Before and after pregnancy
- Use birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, which can make your blood more likely to clot
- Have a family history of a blood-clotting disorder or a tendency to form blood clots
- Have had previous episodes of thrombophlebitis
- Have had a stroke
- Older than 60
- Are overweight or obese
- Have cancer
Complications from superficial thrombophlebitis are rare. However, if you develop DVT, the risk of serious complications increases. Complications might include:
- Pulmonary embolism. If part of a deep vein clot becomes dislodged, it can travel to your lungs, where it can block an artery (embolism) and become potentially life-threatening.
- Post-phlebetic syndrome. This condition, also known as post-thrombotic syndrome, can develop months or even years after you've had DVT. Post-phlebetic syndrome can cause lasting and possibly disabling pain, swelling, and a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg.
Sitting during a long flight or car ride can cause your ankles and calves to swell and increases your risk of thrombophlebitis. To help prevent a blood clot:
- Take a walk. If you're flying or riding a train or bus, walk up and down the aisle once an hour or so. If you're driving, stop every hour or so and move around.
- Move your legs regularly. Flex your ankles, or carefully press your feet against the floor or footrest in front of you at least 10 times each hour.
- Drink plenty of water or other nonalcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration.
Hamamelis virginiana has its principle action upon veins of the rectum, genitals, limbs and throat producing venous congestion and haemorrhage. There is marked soreness of the parts, from which the blood flows in blood vessels. In fact, it is bruised soreness. It also acts upon the coats of veins causing relaxation followed by engorgement. Veins are varicose, sore, painful, swollen, hard, knotty and inflamed.
Vipera berus or vipera torva is indicated in cases of phlebitis and varicose veins which are worse on letting the affected limb hang down. There is inflammation of the veins with great swelling. The area around the affected vessel is sore and tender. Severe cramps in lower limbs.
Flouricum acidum has characteristic destructive properties and therefore causes decay of long bones, ulcerations, bedsores and varicose veins. Varicose veins swollen and ulcerated, accompanied by severe burning and itching. Symptoms move from below upwards.