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"I have a sharp shooting pain in my calf. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have a sharp shooting pain in my calf. What could it be?


I have a sharp pain in my calf. It does not always hurt. It seems to get worse if I have been active. I work with computers and I sit a lot. About a year ago I stretched my leg pushing a 4 wheeler out of a ditch, however I don't remember any pain from it. Right after this a week or so is when this started happening to me.


Calf pain is not an uncommon complaint. You should see your doctor for a further evaluation and to explain your symptoms fully, including a description of the quality of the pain, timing of onset, duration, alleviating and/or aggravating factors, and any associated symptoms. If you first noticed this after strenuous activity such as pushing a four-wheeler out of a ditch, you may be experiencing pain from a muscle strain or tear. Such injuries can be common. Individuals who spend a lot of time in one position and notice associated swelling in one leg may have a deep venous thrombosis, or blood clot. The classic presentation occurs after a long flight when individuals have been sitting for a prolonged period of time. Lower extremity pain with activity may also be a sign of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD occurs from a blockage of the arteries in your legs from atherosclerosis, clot, or stenosis (narrowing of your arteries). Other changes that may occur include lower extremity wounds, ulcers, or sores, changes to skin color, and decreased hair or nail growth in that extremity. Your risk is increased if you have a history of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cigarette smoking, or prior history of heart attack or stroke. A vascular surgeon is a specialist who can evaluate you for signs and symptoms of PVD. It is not possible to receive a diagnosis without being evaluated by a physician. As such, I recommend you seek consultation with your physician regarding your symptoms.

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