Main Article on Phlebitis Question: What were your phlebitis symptoms? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Paula, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 10 My deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in my right calf, came after a total knee replacement (same leg). After reading the surgery notes of both the doctor's and the scrub nurse's, I found they only released the tourniquet 2 times during the whole procedure, resulting in phlebitis. I had no idea something small like that could hurt so bad, it permanently discolored the skin, and when the massive swelling went down, it caused a muscle dent as well (that knee doctor now releases every 15 minutes; as it should be). Such things happen, but education on any surgery involving limbs! Pays to be proactive and ask questions (I do now) as I sit here with a ruined back of hand vein from blown IV, because they just kept using the same vein and arm, working its way to my elbow! It is very painful, hard, and around 6 inches long and it has branched to the pinky side of the wrist. This is the 2nd time this has happened (1st one, vein took months to completely disappear). Comment from: Zaura, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 04 When I was six months pregnant with my now 38 year old son, my left leg had swollen to twice its normal size, and I was in unbearable pain. I went to the doctor seven times, each time telling a doctor that I thought I had thrombophlebitis. The first six doctors didn't take me seriously. One suggested I had an inguinal hernia. Another said the baby was pressing on a nerve in my uterus. Yet another told me pregnant ladies get swollen legs sometimes. He walked out when I asked why the other leg was perfectly fine. Finally I saw a doctor who listened to me. He then listened to my veins with a Doppler machine and headphones, and said I had thrombophlebitis in the left inguinal region. I was in hospital, on IV heparin for four weeks. Because other anticoagulants cross the placenta, I had to take heparin for the rest of my pregnancy and throughout my four subsequent pregnancies (for prophylaxis). In those days, I was extremely active, and the leg improved rather quickly with the use of heparin and compression stockings. A few months ago, I started feeling extreme pain in my left calf, with noticeable swelling. It didn't improve with rest, elevation, and a heating pad. So I had it checked for a blood clot at the emergency room. There I found out that I had numerous blood clots with phlebitis. I was in hospital for a week, and now, two months later, I'm still in unbearable pain whenever I lower my leg. I'm on Coumadin, wearing compression stockings, and using a heating pad when elevating my leg. I'd say it's improved a little bit, but healing at age 60 takes a lot longer than it did at 22! Comment from: Terry, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 15 One morning I woke up with soreness in my right leg in the knee area. The next morning I woke up I was sore in both legs. I put up with the pain it was a burning sensation in the skin. I went to emergency after a week where an ultrasound confirmed thrombophlebitis. They gave me a six week course of Xarelto. It is most painful when standing, only relief when lying. Now all good. Comment from: ambrosia211, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 03 I am a 53 year old wife and grandmother that is on crutches full time. I did not have any kind of injury or IV. One night I developed what appeared to be a spider bite looking rash. However, no skin had been broken. It was in the inside of my arm where one might place an IV. My symptoms were bright red rash, hot to the touch, swelling of my entire arm and a rock hard spot under the skin. For 2 days I endured pain, but on day 3, I went to urgent care. A PA (physician's assistant) told me that it looked like cellulitis, and gave me some seriously strong antibiotics. I went home and looked up cellulitis online but what my rash looked like and the pictures I looked at were very different. I kept searching and found my rash online. Not cellulitis, but phlebitis. Now I am on day 5 of antibiotics, and all I feel is a small amount of heat from rash, and a swollen vein. Still painful but at least I can now move my arm and it can be touched. Still unsure what caused it. Comment from: JG56, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 19 I was born in 1956, with deep vein thrombosis in my left knee area. Severe swelling occurred when I became active, consequently, I wore Ace bandages to school/play, and was miserable with throbbing pain at night. At age 6, I had surgery for phlebitis which involved cutting around the knee cap area and folding that skin back, thus allowing the doctor access to the large group of connected veins which pooled there under the knee cap area. The surgery was a success. I've had normal growth in my leg (some doctors warned I would not) and have yet to develop arthritis from trauma to that knee. Comment from: bettyboop, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 06 I have phlebitis in my left foot, no varicose veins. My foot and lower leg ache when I exert myself. I have a cholesterol problem which is not high. And very minimal arthritis in my right knee and two fingers of my right hand. I also have irritable bowel syndrome which is under control. Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 16 I have had 6 deep vein thromboses (DVTs) in my right leg and one in my lady parts after a tubal ligation 18 years ago. I now have been getting phlebitis. I don't experience pain, but my leg looks discolored, purple/blue and there are spots where the blood pools. I take two blood thinners and am constantly at the doctor's. My doctor looked away after seeing my leg. I am 50. I should not be dealing with all this. I move around all the time and I am not sedentary. It's so upsetting to see my once nice legs look beat up and almost bruised. I am looking for a solution for getting rid of the phlebitis. My veins are popped out, my knee has a knot in it and my ankle looks terrible. SLIDESHOW Spider & Varicose Veins: Causes, Before and After Treatment Images See Slideshow Comment from: RN, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 11 Whenever I have an IV line set up for anesthesia or medication since 2012, I have phlebitis. My hand and arm become very painful, red and tender with swelling and I also have a headache. I always have to end up taking a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. Comment from: ronita, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 21 Eight weeks after undergoing a shoulder arthroscopy to repair a torn rotator cuff, I spiked a very high fever, was nauseated and had pain all over my body and headache. On the arm was a red swollen spot, painful and very red. I went to see my surgeon. He said I have phlebitis and gave me antibiotics and pain killers. He said it is called phlebitis of the vein and can make a person very sick. I was in bed for 2 days. Comment from: Tinks, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03 Started with hard lump on outside of right knee, painful, it spread up the vein to the groin and inner thigh, then it spread outwards from the vein, extremely hot, hard, lumpy and painful, at that stage I saw a doctor and was given antibiotics, and antinflamatory gel, at rest it was bearable, any weight put on it, or if you coughed, it killed!! May need to take a 2nd course of tablets as it's still quite bad. Had spinal problems for many years, but saying that I still keep on my feet and walk, not inactive, do smoke, in the throes of giving up, I must. I do suffer with bad varicose veins, that's half the problem in my estimation, keep smiling folks!! Comment from: Barbra, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 09 I have had phlebitis for the past few years. As I live in Spain, I tend to get it in the summer months down the shin of both of my legs. It is extremely painful, and the only relief is tablets given by my doctor, and some ointment especially made up for me. I am seeing him again next week as it is just started getting bad again. At one time the nurse bandaged both my legs quite tightly for a few days and this seemed to help. Comment from: cuscoops, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09 I broke a blood vessel in my foot kickboxing. Three weeks later I developed phlebitis in my ankle and as of today, I still cannot tie my shoe up. I finally can walk without a limp with the help of brace. Comment from: Hewsie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 21 After having two lots of antibiotics to take together, the pain got worse so was admitted into hospital. I was put on an IV drip for six days then given two weeks of two kinds of antibiotics. Although I am a lot better I still have pain at the top of my leg and I am now on two antibiotics again but one has been changed. Comment from: Derek, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 11 It started on a Friday evening with a row of four lumps to one side of my right shin. It started to get tender and saw the doctor on Monday morning. She diagnosed phlebitis and prescribed antibiotics. Comment from: Edwin, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 26 It began with pain in my right foot, upon walking or standing.Then I area around my inner ankle became red and painful.The redness spread across the top of the foot. It was very tender to touch, and the whole area was painful. When resting, with foot elevated, there was no pain at all. I felt a bit cold and shivery. It remained very painful to put any pressure or weight on the foot, because of the pain. Comment from: margrett, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 08 I am a very active 70 years old and I have had two knee replacements. Over the past two weeks I have been painting the inside of the house. Now I am getting it in the night when I sleep. I had it when I had my last child over 37 years ago and they bound my leg up. I could not walk at all. Comment from: David, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 19 I had a blood clot in my left leg last year, although I ride a bike one hour a day and walk five to 10 miles a week. I have got phlebitis. My leg is swollen and itches and is painful when I get up from sitting down. It really improves when I ride my bike, and although the treatment of ibuprofen and a compression stocking helps, it always seems to come back even though I lead an active lifestyle. I gave up smoking six years ago and exercise regularly. Comment from: Megan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 14 For my phlebitis symptoms, I get pain in my calf after standing for long periods of time or sitting too much. Comment from: Healed, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 01 I went to ER with left calf throbbing and pain. It was worse with walking. I was given a prescription for Motrin and an ultrasound done and it said I had phlebitis. I was told by ER doctor to keep my left calf elevated above my heart and apply warm compresses. Seven days later I am finally feeling better walking better. Only when I first wake up is when it feels especially worst then it okay after that. I have support hose and an RN said I should get and they do help because I walk all day. Today I am 80% better on my way to 100% healed. Comment from: alison, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 12 I developed phlebitis five days after giving birth to my last baby. It was on my left leg on the inner side of my knee. It was very swollen and painful and bending my knee was difficult, and sleeping was nearly impossible. I could not lie in a comfortable position. My GP gave me antibiotics and reassured me that it was a not a deep vein thrombosis kind of thing. It took a couple of weeks to clear up, but I'm much better now. Comment from: MaMoJo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 29 Five days after having an IV for a spinal steroid injection, I for an elongated, red and swollen area on the inside of my left knee. It was about three inches long and one inch thick. It was hard and painful, even to a light touch. It also started to bruise the surrounding area and the redness increased and did not subside for the next 24 hours. It felt better to walk than to sit or lie down. I tried to use some ice with no relief other than a little bit of initial numbing. Heat made it feel better and lightly wrapping the area also felt a little better. I ended up going to the ER – they told me it was phlebitis. They did a sonogram, and prescribed antibiotics and warm compresses and they gently wrapped the area. They told me to follow up with my primary doctor the following day. Comment from: thanks, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 22 The article was very helpful and matched what my doctor had told me. After surgery removing lymph nodes under my arm, a vein from under my arm to my breast inflamed. It was hard and popping through the skin. Warm compresses reduced the swelling within a couple of days, so that it could not be seen so much. It however remains somewhat painful and hard, but much better than before. Aspirin was recommended but I will now also try Ibuprofen based on the article. While common in the leg, I am including this comment because superficial phlebitis can occur elsewhere in the body. As was the experience for others, I hope the pain does go away in a week or so. Thanks for the information. Comment from: Magsyg, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 16 I fell against my toughened glass table 5 weeks ago and bruised my left leg in between my knee and ankle it took 2 weeks for the bruising to come out and that spread from my ankle to my knee with a very red and hot area where I hit it, I went to the doctor because the swelling and redness would not go down, he said I had an infection, which I doubted as there was no broken skin, anyway took antibiotics for a week and although redness faded the lump is still there and it aches when I walk any distance. I returned to the doctor yesterday and now he says it is phlebitis, but it is not really painful and not really hot any more just feels a bit numb and my ankle swells. He has given me cream to massage into it so hopefully this will help. I have osteoarthritis in both my knees, hands, shoulders and back so really don't need any more problems. Comment from: hurt sobad1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 12 My phlebitis symptoms are like a burning sensation. I also have skin discoloration and a sharp pain in my leg with some swelling. As soon as I put my feet down, I get heaviness in my leg. I also have a hardening on my skin, which is warm to the touch and it's irritated by anything that touches it, such as bed coverings or pants. Comment from: Sherrie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 10 Hi, I'm actually an RN. I had a broken tibia and fibula on the left lower leg five years ago. I got over this with pins, plates and a lot of hardware holding these bones together. About two months ago after standing on my feet all day I noticed at night my left leg throbbed so much. I went to my orthopedic doctor because the pain was right over the plate in my leg. There was no redness, just severe tenderness in one site, and it hurt to weight bear on left leg. I was told I had tendinitis and was ordered physical therapy. The next day my leg was red and more swollen. My doctor was not available, so we went to the ER. I told them to check for a blood clot. An ultrasound showed no DVTs. I was told that I had phlebitis. I was given medications and put on bed rest with moist heat. My orthopedist hasn't seen but ordered a bone scan before I go back to work. The area did become more swollen after the ER visit but the redness went away. This is day eight and feeling much better. I actually did housework today! Comment from: sasfeet, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 22 Four days after undergoing a shoulder arthroscopy to repair a torn rotator cuff, I spiked a very high fever of 104.6. My surgeon sent me to the Emergency Room at our Hospital for blood work. They discovered I had pneumonia in my lower left lung. I was admitted to the hospital and treated with two different IV antibiotics. On the second day of the IV therapy the IV site became extremely painful (just as they started the antibiotics for that day), I became instantly nauseated which they treated, then continued the IV therapy, I could not stand the pain in my arm at the IV site (just slightly above the elbow). They finally shut off the IV antibiotics, looked and felt the area and said "Oh, we call this phlebitis of the vein.” They finally removed the IV and restarted it on the other arm with a much smaller gauge needle. They stated that the large gauge I had in was not necessary. Comment from: Worried wife, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 12 Four years ago my husband's left leg "shin area" was bothering him. It was hot, red, hard and shiny in the area that was bothering him. After 2 or 3 months the area turned dark brown. Our family doctor was concerned he may have DVT - he was tested twice and nothing was ever found. Since then our family doctor has passed away. Just 2 weeks ago my husband had to have a heart catheter done. The needle went into his right groin area, and he was released 6 hours later. There was 60% blockage in 2 of the main heart arteries, and medication is being used as the treatment. Two days after the test was done the inside of his right thigh was bruised badly. We told the doctor on his post-op appointment. He told us that was normal. Since then his right lower leg "shin area" has become inflamed and swollen, hard red and shiny from the tightening of the skin. He says it aches all the time. Comment from: Sixtythree, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04 I have phlebitis and my symptoms include a pinching in the legs with little red dots that are kind of tender. My ankles are swollen and tender to the touch. Comment from: mary, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 26 I have phlebitis. I'm usually tired with aching legs and a blotchy, kind of redness of my skin. I feel like my legs are dragging sometimes, and it is painful to walk sometimes. Comment from: eli, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19 I am a normal healthy person at 63 years of age. My doctor said I had phlebitis after I had vein injected in my right leg below knee. Wish I had not. Since then I get occasional swelling behind my knee that is very painful. The swelling is the size of a medium sized egg. My leg throbs and the pain is scary. It spreads up my leg and my leg can feel dead. I'm always worried about D.V.T. Comment from: TRISH, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19 My phlebitis started after a course of aggressive chemotherapy for lung cancer and has persisted. I was initially on an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory it has become worse with time, especially in my left arm. I have been told it is a common side effect of chemo and should go eventually - all I can say is I find it quite debilitating and it restricts me from doing things. Comment from: tfabian, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 28 I have phlebitis and I have pains and tenderness at the lower left side of my ribcage. It's a lot like a burning sensation. I'm feeling a lot like I have a fractured rib. I am now noticing a large, rigid vein and I can feel it from my left breast to the groin area. The vein feels hard and itches. Published: June 21 I have had saline implant surgery on June 3rd and after feeling fairly well 3 weeks into this I noticed two vein looking lines under each boob and it became very sore. I went to doctor today and he said I have phlebitis. Not quite sure how serious this is. Comment from: Denise, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 15 I have Phlebitis. It started as redness in both of my lower ankles. It was a dark red color like sunburn. It itched just a little bit, but it burned like fire and ached. My skin is drawn and tight. It has been moving up my legs, but the doctor assures me that with antibiotics and compression socks it will heal. Comment from: ali, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 01 I had phlebitis and found it to be very painful. It started as a slight pain in the top of my leg which turned bright red and started spreading. It was treated with antibiotics due to infection and lasted about three weeks. Comment from: Charlotte, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 22 I have pain in my ankle and leg area. There is swelling in both my foot and leg. I can feel a hard lump above the ankle area. The whole area is extremely sensitive to touch. I am being treated for this condition with the use of a fairly tightly wound elastic bandaging. I like to exercise and wonder how this condition will restrict my exercise program. Comment from: nielsbrix, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 21 I recently had surgery for a double hernia. A day or two after the canula was removed from my arm, phlebitis occurred. I am now being treated with cephalexin by my GP. Is this a common occurrence or was I just unlucky. Comment from: Kitza113, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21 My symptoms were swelling of the left foot, with burning and pain in my ankle and calf area. I had a lot of redness and the area was hot to the touch. It even hurt to touch my leg at all and the skin was dry and looked like it had been stretched.