Governor Snyder was hospitalized Thursday with a blood clot in his right leg where he has been wearing a protective boot due to his torn Achilles tendon. He was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital after he noticed swelling the injured leg.
Blood clots can happen after injuries when the foot or leg are immobilized. Blood clots occur due to the blood not moving, while they are not very common they do happen and can be very serious. An injury causing damage to the veins in the legs can begin a clot, then when the lower leg is immobilized with a cast or other device, the blood does not move. When blood is stationary it can firm up and become a clot. There is always a chance of a clot forming after an injury or surgery when the leg is immobilized. The scary part of a blood clot is if it breaks loose because it can become stuck in the lung, preventing oxygen from getting to the blood, which in rare cases can be fatal.
Symptoms of a blood clot often include pain and swelling of the calf muscles, but there are not always symptoms. Therefore it is always advisable to occasionally contract the calf muscles after an injury or surgery to keep the blood moving and preventing it from clotting.
Some things that put someone at a higher risk for blood clots are: taking birth control pills, being in a cast or other device that stops the muscles from contracting, smoking, being overweight, or flying in a plane.
At Fenton Foot Care, we are always monitoring for blood clots and taking precautions for our at risk patients. We don’t use a cast unless absolutely necessary, as we prefer to use walking boots. Not only are walking boots more comfortable, they can also be removed so the patient can move their foot up and down, making the muscles pump blood which not only prevents blood clots, but can also make for a more speedy recovery.