Minor leg injuries like ankle sprains and muscle ruptures may increase the risk
of blood clots in the legs or
lungs.


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Previous studies
revealed that major injuries increased the risk for venous thrombosis. The
disorder included deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the leg, and pulmonary
embolism, or a blood clot that has travelled to the lungs.


"However, apart from the
injury itself, other risk factors for venous thrombosis will be present because
of the major injury, such as surgery, a plaster cast, hospitalization and
extended bed rest," the authors
write.


"The risk of so-called
minor injuries that do not lead to these additional factors is
unknown."


A study led by
Karlijn J Van Stralen at Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, the
Netherlands, examined 2,471 patients who developed venous thrombosis between
1999 and 2004.


They were asked
to complete a questionnaire about any injuries, surgical procedures, plaster
casts or immobilizations they had within one year of developing blood clots, as
well as their height, weight, family history and sports
participation.


The patients
were then compared to 3,534 controls that did not have venous thrombosis.


A total of 289 patients had a
minor injury in the three months prior to developing venous thrombosis, while
154 controls had a minor injury in the three months before completing the
questionnaire.


"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," wrote authors.


"The association appeared
local because injuries in the leg were associated strongly with thrombosis,
while injuries in other locations were not associated with thrombosis. The
association was strongest for injuries that occurred in the month before the
venous thrombosis, suggesting a transient effect," they added.


According to the authors,
because minor injuries are common, they can be major contributors to the
occurrence of venous
thrombosis


"Many individuals
with minor injuries will have contacted the general practitioner first.
Therefore, there may be an important task for general practitioners to identify
subjects who are at high risk of developing venous thrombosis and subsequently
to provide prophylactic measures," they concluded.

Via Times of India