T Nation

Calf Swelling

About three months ago my calf and ankle swelled up severely and I had extreme tightness in the calf. I was immediately sent for a doppler test to ensure that I did not have a blood clot. The test proved negative but I slowly began to lose my range of motion in my calf, (flexion/dorsiflexion) of the foot. I had two MRI’s, blood tests, three sets of xrays and all have proven negative. The Doctor sent me to a Physical Therapist and my range of motion is back. I no longer feel tightness in the calf and I have no pain HOWEVER the swelling is persistent especially from below the knee to the ankle. The Doctor is stumped but suggested I slowly return to working out (thank God) and see what happens. Has anyone here had a similar problem? One final note, I had no traumatic injury the swelling snuck up on me and is related only to my right leg. I am scheduled to go for another doppler scan next week but I strongly believe it will come back negative also.

Does the effected area turn red and warm while swollen? Are you diabetic-Type 1 or 2? The reason I ask, is that it sounds like cellulitis. According to WebMD,
In adults, cellulitis usually occurs on the legs, but can occur on other areas of the body. Pain and tenderness may occur at the site before signs of infection appear. Cellulitis often occurs near a surgical site or at the site of an injury, such as a burn, cut, or animal bite. It often recurs, especially in
people with conditions such as a fungal infection or diabetes. Recurring
infection in the legs can cause a condition called elephantiasis, with a gross
enlargement of the skin and underlying tissues in the legs. In some cases, the first sign of cellulitis may include low blood pressure,
often caused by bacteremia. This may occur before any symptoms develop near a wound or surgical site.
I don’t want to scare you with that info, but if your doctor hasn’t said anything about it, ASK!! I have a diabetic relative who lost several toes due to a combo of type 2 diabetes and cellulitis. Please, get it checked, and good luck. -The Starkdog

Thanks for the input Starkdog… In actuality, it looks like I had a missed diagnosis which could have killed me. On my Doctors recommendation I went back to the hospital for another Doppler study to check for a blood clot. This time around, almost four months later, a blood clot was detected. I am now a Coumadin, a potent blood thinner. I have been instructed to stay off my feet and I go for blood tests every four days. I am grateful that I have found the problem but now I need to get it straighted out. It looks like I may have an uphill battle for the next month or two. When all of this is behind me I look forward to hitting the iron again.