Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Expert Forum
Popliteal / Knee Crease & Calf Pain
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Questions in the Peripheral Arterial Disease forum are answered by Dr. Lee Kirksey, associate professor at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Topics covered include abdominal aortic aneurysm , amputation, arteriovenous fistula, atherectomy, carotid artery surgery , cholesterol , claudication, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) , endovascular aortic stent graft (EVAR), stent placement , stroke prevention, varicose veins , and venous insufficiency .

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Popliteal / Knee Crease & Calf Pain

I am a 31 year old male, 6'0" and 140 pounds.  I do not smoke.  I drank 2-3 beers daily for about 5 years but have decreased in the past month to 2-3 per week (or less).  I work a sedentary desk job as a web developer & I also run my own successful website.  It's not unusual for me to sit in a chair for 12 hrs a day.  I get little exercise but thin genes run in my family (hence the reason I'm not overweight I guess).  I have no other health issues that I am aware of & I take no medications.

I have been having a slight pain (more like a burning) in the crease of my right knee for the past 4-5 days.  It increases & decreases in severity but is more a nuisance than debilitating.  Yesterday the pain/burning was on & off in my right calf too.  I didn't make much of it since I have a tendency to sit on my foot while working & prefer my right foot over my left.  So my knee is often compressed for hours and I figured I had pinched a nerve.  I haven't sat like this the past couple days.  Today my calf isn't really bothering me but my knee crease still hurts/burns a bit.

I looked on the internet to see if maybe I had pinched a nerve and ran across information on DVT.  I am a bit of a hypochondriac when things start hurting so it freaked me out a bit, hence my post.  I'm confident you're going to tell me to go see a specialist, but what are the chances this could be DVT?  My risks factors seem to be very low with the exception of my job and lack of exercise.  But I have a wife and two beautiful young children and would rather not die due to my own naivety either.

No thigh pain.  No groin pain.  Temperatures in both calves seem to be the same.  No leg swelling.  I have a BP monitor at home and actually put it on my ankles last night (don't know if that works or not) but the numbers were fairly close to one another.  No family history of DVT that I know of.

Even if I call my Doctor it will be days before I can get in.  Any feedback or ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks!
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Hello
Interesting story. The risk factors for DVT include trauma to tissue/blood vessel, hypercoagulable states and blood stasis. Blood stasis is likely your only risk factor and this is secondary to your sitting and your position. Your symptoms sound more like a pinched nerve given the burning in the leg. Having said that, even in experienced hands making the diagnosis of DVT based upon patient complaints and physical exam is about 50%.

Your options would be to place warm compresses on the area, stop sitting on your foot and to make and effort to get up each hour just to walk around your desk.

You should consider getting an ultrasound if the symptoms persist as ultrasound is the gold standard for identifiying DVT. And with two beautiful children and a wife, who wants to leave it to chance. Good luck

PS whats the name of your website?

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Okay, I may have found out what was causing the initial pain in the back of the knee.  Sometimes I have a tendency in my sleep to pop my ankle - and to do this, I pull my toes up toward the front of my leg... VERY hard to achieve the pop.  I've woken up several times while doing this.  I woke up while doing it a couple nights after my previous post and then when I got out of the bed in the morning my calf was really aching.  

Or, it could be a sciatic nerve problem.  The past 2-3 days now the back side of my upper right thigh has been hurting while sitting the chair at work and especially when driving.  I think it may be time for a trip to the Chiropractor.

Thank you for your comprehensive review of my post and problem.  

My website is a forum for Toyota Tacoma X-Runner enthusiasts, www.xr-underground.com.  It's a niche group, but very dedicated and growing daily.  We currently have 2,500+ members while over 30% regularly active.  Not bad stats for such a niche website.

Thanks again!  Any feedback on relieving the sciatic nerve pain, aside from the Chiro, is surely appreciated.
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