Phlebitis Can Pose a Danger to Foot Health


Phlebitis is a complication of vein illness and is a dangerous condition that can pose real risks to foot and leg health. Do you know the signs to watch for to protect yourself?

Men and women with vein-related health conditions are at risk of phlebitis. The blood vessels throughout your body contain valves to direct the flow of blood. In your legs, these valves regulate the flow of blood from the heart to the feet and back again. When they fail to work properly, it becomes increasingly difficult for blood to return to the heart. This is phlebitis. You might notice:

  • swelling

  • discoloration of the skin

  • a feeling of pressure or tightness on the skin

  • ulceration

  • skin loss

Sometimes, phlebitis results in blood clots. This is particularly dangerous because the clots may break free and travel through the body, lodging in the lungs and causing difficulty breathing. Hospitalization and even death can result. If you have phlebitis and experience shortness of breath or pain in your calf, you may be experiencing a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or even a Pulmonary Embolism (PE), both of which are particularly threatening. You should seek medical attention immediately.

The good news is that your podiatrist has treatment options available for phlebitis.  Common approaches include squeezing the fluid out of the legs with compression stockings and/or venous leg pumps. A consultation with a vascular surgeon may be recommended.

If you are noticing signs of phlebitis, or if you have any other concerns about the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, the first thing you should do is to schedule a visit with your foot doctor. With years of specialized training and experience, a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein is the best-qualified medical professional to help you. Make an appointment today in Hartford Podiatry Group’s modern, comfortable Hartford and Rocky Hill offices. Call our friendly staff at 860-523-8026 or click here to get started.