Ignoring the pain in the left leg turned into a nightmare for a 47-year-old businessman from Mumbai when he was diagnosed with the rare complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition wherein blood clots form in the veins that are located deep inside the body.
The situation came to a point where local doctors advised him for amputation of the leg. However, his leg was saved by the timely intervention of doctors at Wockhardt hospital by performing extensive skin grafting procedures.
Mr. Rane (name changed) couldn’t concentrate on his work as he encountered unexplained foot pain and swelling in the left leg in 2016. He was diagnosed with DVT. He was taking regular medications and precautions for the same.
But the Coronavirus lockdown turned into a nightmare for this patient as it aggravated his condition. Due to the long hours of sitting during the lockdown, he experienced foot pain in July 2020 and was unable to walk. The patient and his family panicked as his left leg turned black as he couldn’t get proper medical advice.
Dr. Girish L. Bhalerao, Super Specialty Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, said: “On admission, the patient was in septic shock, which is a serious condition that leads to infection throughout the body and one’s blood pressure drops as well.”
Dr. Upendra Bhalerao, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, said: “DVT affects the legs and causes disruption in the vascular outflow. Delayed diagnosis and not treating the clot at the right time can lead to scar tissue in the wall, permanently damaging the deep veins.”
“In serious cases, DVT causes a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that travels to the lungs. In this patient, deep vein thrombosis had led to necrosis of the entire circumference of his leg and caused a life-threatening infection,” added Dr. Upendra Bhalerao.
Initially, the patient was stabilized and the infection was controlled. Once that was done, the skin necrosis was tackled by Dr. Shraddha Deshpande, Consultant-Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at the hospital.
Dr. Deshpande said: “Post DVT, the skin of the leg was severely damaged and required extensive debridement. Immediate cover of such a large wound was necessary, hence a skin grafting procedure was performed for this patient.”
“He also had necrotic skin patches in his thighs which were addressed later in stages. Due to his disease, his blood coagulation had to be monitored continuously to make sure there is no bleeding during this extensive surgery. Eventually, the patient has healed completely and can now walk pain-free,” said Dr Deshpande.
“Leg pain snatched away my peace of mind over the years. But, during the lockdown, my condition worsened and my left leg turned black. I was embarrassed and would wear full pants so that the leg is not visible. It took a toll on my self-esteem as my left leg appeared discolored when compared to the right one,” said Mr. Rane.