Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 

In some cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) there may be no symptoms, but possible symptoms can include:

  • pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually your calf)
  • a heavy ache in the affected area
  • warm skin in the area of the clot
  • redness of your skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee

DVT usually affects one leg, but this is not always the case. The pain may be made worse by bending your foot upward towards your knee.

If DVT is not treated, a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that has come away from its original site and become lodged in one of your lungs) may occur. 

If you have a pulmonary embolism, you may experience more serious symptoms, such as:

  • breathlessness, which may come on gradually or suddenly
  • chest pain, which may become worse when you breathe in
  • collapsing suddenly 

Both DVT and pulmonary embolism are serious conditions that require urgent investigation and treatment.

Read more about complications of deep vein thrombosis.

Page last reviewed: 03/06/2014

Next review due: 03/06/2016