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DVT three times more likely after leg injuries

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Patients with ruptured muscles, ankle sprains and common minor leg injuries are three times more likely to develop venous thrombosis, research has shown.

Researchers in the Netherlands studied 2,471 patients who developed venous thrombosis between 1999 and 2004.

Patients were questioned about any injuries, surgical procedures, plaster casts or immobilisations they had within a year of developing clots.

They were then compared with 3,534 controls who did not have DVT. A total of 289 patients (11.7%) had a minor injury in the three months prior to developing venous thrombosis, while 154 controls (4.4%) had a minor injury before completing the questionnaire.

Authors said: ‘Minor injuries that do not require surgery, a plaster cast or extended bed rest were associated with a three-fold greater relative risk of venous thrombosis.

‘The association was strongest for injuries that occurred in the month before the venous thrombosis, suggesting a transient effect.’

Archives of Internal Medicine (2008) 168: 21-26

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