A blood clot in the foot can become a serious issue. A blood clot, or thrombus, occurs when the blood coagulates as part of the hemostasis process. There are two main parts that make up the blood clot: the plug that has been formed by a collection of red blood cells and aggregation of platelets. Lastly, a mesh of cross-linked fibrin proteins holds the clot together.
In normal healthy individuals, a blood clot happens when there is an injury as the clot helps to stop further bleeding. However, when it occurs in the vessel, it can cause many issues as it stops the flow of blood, which can result in tissue damage or death.
The formation of a blood clot can be due to blood stasis, endothelial injury, or hypercoagulability. It is important to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot as it helps the affected individual to seek medical attention and treatment.
Symptom #1: Firm Veins
Veins are blood vessels that function to carry blood from other parts of the body back to the heart. This means that most veins contain deoxygenated blood, except umbilical and pulmonary veins. Veins are less muscular than arteries, closer to the skin, and have valves that help prevent the backflow of blood.
When the blood clot in the foot occurs in a vein, the distal (further from the heart) portion can appear to be enlarged and feels firm as the clot has created a damlike effect that prevents the flow of blood back to the heart. Depending on the affected vein, some blood can be diverted through other veins to reach the heart.