Your Legs and Thrombophlebitis

By Reeder Vein Institute
October 15, 2015

If you were on Wheel of Fortune, you’d be happy to buy a vowel or two and solve for the word thrombophlebitis, but when you have it in your legs, thrombophlebitis can be a serious condition, especially deep vein thrombophlebitis.

Here’s an overview of what it is and what we can do about it at Reeder Vein.


The root of thrombophlebitis is phlebitis, which simply means inflammation in a vein. This can happen on the hands or arms after having an IV. But when the inflammation occurs spontaneously due to a blood clot in a superficial vein it is called thrombophlebitis.

People with chronic venous disease and varicose veins are especially prone to this problem because the dilated varicose veins have sluggish or stagnant flow, making it more likely for the blood in them to clot.

Causes of thrombophlebitis

ThrombophlebitisThrombophlebitis can be caused by extended periods of inactivity (remember when you watched all of Breaking Bad in one weekend?). It can occur due to long periods in bed during a hospital stay or sitting for a long period of time on a long-distance airplane flight. Injury to a vein can also cause the clot. Here are a few other things that increase a person’s risk for developing thrombophlebitis:

• Varicose veins
• Pregnancy
• Smoking
• Obesity
• Increasing Age
• Birth control pills
• Hormone replacement therapy
• Inherited blood-clotting disorder

Diagnosis and treatment

Dr. Reeder can diagnose superficial thrombophlebitis through a physical exam. If deep vein thrombosis is suspected, however, an ultrasound is usually needed.

Preventing thrombophlebitis

Not all cases of phlebitis or thrombophlebitis can be prevented, but there are some things you can do to help. When taking a long car or plane trip, walk or stretch your legs once in a while and stay hydrated. And adopt these lifestyle choices: stay physically active, stop smoking, wear support hose if you have vein problems, and keep your weight in line.

If you have questions about thrombophlebitis or need to schedule an appointment to see if you have the condition, call Dr. Reeder at 682-499-5672.

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