I have been having an extraordinary amount of pain in my lower leg (not so much my calf as the outside of the leg), and the past few days it's been difficult to walk because it hurts so bad. I went to see the doctor, and her first thought was that it's a blood clot. Since I don't have insurance, she wanted to start with the least expensive test to find out. She ordered a D-Dimer test, and said that it would "most likely" tell us whether there was a clot in there or not. The test result came back negative. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had one of these tests, and if so, how accurate are they?
Also, if you could help me identify some of the symptoms of a blood clot, that would be helpful.
As far as my symptoms, I'm having pain in a very localized spot. It hurts to bear weight on the leg, and it hurts just to stand up. When I don't have my leg elevated, my foot and toes turn purple, though the doctor said my circulation was good. It is extremely painful to the touch, almost like having the worst bruise I can imagine. It's not red, there's no rash. It does get pretty swollen when I'm up walking on it, though. The doctor measured both legs yesterday and there was a noticeable difference in size, both at the spot where it hurts and around the ankle.
She said if it wasn't a blood clot, it could either be the onset of Shingles, or an infection under the skin. Does anyone have any ideas?
As I was going to get in the shower today, I looked down and began to wonder why my leg appeared so much more swollen when I actually had weight on it than when it was just unelevated (as in sitting, with my legs dangling). I reached down, and realized that when I'm putting weight on it, there is a very noticeable lump where I'm having pain. I'd approximate the lump as being the size of a golf ball. It's only noticeable when I'm bearing weight on the leg.
Would this help in distinguishing it at all? Please help, I am very concerned now.
TM, Wish I could help more but I can tell you what I have:
My left leg has lump underneath the skin, sometimes discoloration as if bruised but usually just color of skin, hurts to press on, sometimes leg hurts for no known reason and this spot is soft like gel when pressed on.
I have never heard of the d test you had done but it sounds like your doc is doing her best to find out what is going on. Has she sent you for anymore tests yet? Let us know. Take care.
The test that they did to see if you had a clot is very accurate. I just has one last week sunday and it came back with a very high reading. the normal range is 1-400 and mine was 2320 so i had a problem and it was not a small one...I ended up having 3 blood clots on my lungs..I do remember a few weeks before getting them I had alot of pain in my legs but just thought it was from working out so if you are having this pain then you should have an ultrasound to see if their is any blood clotting going on.
D-Dimer test is more than 90% accurate for detecting blood clots. It could be complemented with platelets count,prothrombin time,activated partial trombhoplastin time, fibrinogen, and FDP test for detecting the existence of blood clot. The normal value should be <500 ng/ml.
D-Dimer is VERY sensitive, not very specific. Meaning if it is negative, it is very unlikely that you have a clot. If it is positive, you may have a clot, or it may just be high for tons of reasons---most of them not "bad".
D-DI test can come in different formats. D-Di Latex usually subject to appreciation of the operator, D-Di rapid tests also subjective, and qualitative meaning that you have a value. Depending on the manufacturer the cut off (value that define the positive or negative value if your value is above your are positive if your value is below you are negative) varies.
The test is useful only for the NPV (negative predictive value) meaning if it is negative or below the cut off defined by the manufacturer the test indicate that you don't have a clot. The qualitative test is always the best.
You don't indicate your age weight and family history for blood clots it is also important. Factors such as smoking, Contraceptive pills, and a genetic disorder called APC resistance multiply the risk of clotting. The D-Di is the best test to order for exclusion of DVT or PE. And if you are negative it is a very good sign.