DVT or deep vein thrombosis is the result of the clots formed by the blood in the veins. One the critical reason for the occurrence of the clots in the body is due to thickening of the blood. If there is an occurrence of the formation of the clots, then it is possible for it to break from the vein the travel to other parts through the bloodstream.


Can DVT Occur in the Arm?


Can DVT Occur In The Arm?

Yes, it is possible for anyone to have DVT or deep vein thrombosis in his or her arm. With the appearance of DVT or deep vein thrombosis, the clots can travel to lungs, causing restriction and leading to pulmonary embolism. However, the chance for the occurrence of the DVT or deep vein thrombosis is low in arm when compared to its presence in the calves or pelvis.

One reason for clots formation is spending plenty of time without any movement in the body. For example, a person who is in bed for a while after a major surgery, a person who is traveling on a long flight trips, and aging are some of the reasons. The clots begin to form when a person reaches 40. Until he or she becomes 50, there is a steady rise in the symptoms. However, after crossing the 50+ mark, there is a sudden surge, and one can quickly notice the changes.


Apart from the occurrence of the DVT or deep vein thrombosis in the legs, there is a chance for it to occur above the waist, especially in the arms. Called as upper extremity DVT or deep vein thrombosis, it has the potential to cause pulmonary embolism. Around 10% of people fall under this segment.

Symptoms of DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis in the Arm

The signs that can cause DVT or deep vein thrombosis in the arms are vague. The reason is that one can have the similar symptoms due to prevailing health conditions. The symptoms are:

  1. Neck pain
  2. Shoulder pain
  3. Skin turning into blue in the affected region
  4. Swelling of the arm
  5. Weakness develops in the arm
  6. Pain that escalates and travels to forearm.

What Causes DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis in the Arm?

The existence of DVT or deep vein thrombosis in the arms has several possible actions. However, amongst all, the following have a significant impact:

  1. Strenuous activity: There is a possibility for the occurrence because of vigorous exercise such as carrying a heavy backpack. Events such as rowing and pitching a baseball lead to the development of the clot in the blood vessel, which further leads to a lump. These are spontaneous, and the appearance is rare. When they show up, the younger generation is the most targeted or athletes.
  2. Trauma: A fracture involving ribs, humerus or an injury has the high chance for the occurrence of the illness, as it damages the blood vessels and the surrounding area.
  3. Medical procedures: Placement of pacemaker or use of a central venous catheter can only lead to DVT or deep vein thrombosis in the veins. The possible explanation is that the catheter, placed by the doctor, can cause damage to the vessels over the period or as it continues to deliver the medicine.


MRI, CT scan and ultrasound are the methods adopted by a doctor to identify the presence of blood clots or DVT or deep vein thrombosis in the arms.

Treatment of DVT in the Arm

Upon identifying and confirming the presence of DVT or deep vein thrombosis, it is possible for the doctor to proceed ahead with the appropriate treatment using medicines and opt for surgery. Surgery is the last option, and the physician will consider the severity of the symptoms, the age of the patient, general health, and the location of the clot and the age of patient.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 20, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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