Thrombophlebitis is inflammation of a vein caused by a blood clot (also known as a thrombus). Thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory process that causes a blood clot to form and block one or more veins, usually in your legs. The less specific term, “superficial phlebitis” is typically used as an initial, provisional diagnosis until further tests/imaging studies have been completed. Superficial phlebitis relates to the clinical findings of pain/redness/inflammation of the vein without the confirmed presence of a clot. There are three specific kinds of thrombophlebitis, diagnosed by location.
- Superficial Thrombophlebitis (STP)
- Superficial Venous Thrombosis (SVT)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis(DVT)
What Are the Symptoms?
There are a variety of symptoms that may accompany thrombophlebitis including:
- Swelling – Recent swelling of the limb
- Pain – Unexplained limb pain or tenderness
- Warmth – Skin that may be warm to the touch
- Redness — Redness of the skin
When a vein close to the surface of your skin is affected, you might see a red, hard, cord just under the surface of your skin that’s tender to the touch. When a deep vein in the leg is affected, your leg may become swollen, tender, painful, and is usually difficult to walk on.