Leg issues while anticoagulated

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Well-known member
Aug 10, 2010
I've been on warfarin since 1991. At times during the past five years, I've run into leg issues that are probably warfarin related, and probably just related to physical issues.

I've had what are called Baker's Cysts (Synovial Cysts). These cysts involve the blood in the tissues behind the knee leaking into an area behind the knee, forming a cyst. The thing can get pretty large, and is evident when I straighten my leg.

When the cyst gets too large - the pressure in the cyst gets too high - it leaks blood and fluid into the only place it can go - the lower leg. In 2018, the lower leg became so stiff that the doctors in the E.R. were afraid that I may have compartment syndrome (a situation that sometimes results in amputation).

I've had this type of cyst a few times.

I think I may have avoided it a few other times by taking a simple measure - at the first sign of formation of the cyst, I wrap the leg with an Ace bandage, giving the cyst no place to enlarge. So far, this has worked.

Now - there's another thing that happens to my right knee.

I frequently have swelling above my right knee. I've gotten used to it. I pretty much ignore it.

A few weeks ago, I stepped onto a treadmill that I was unfamiliar with (probably stepping too hard), and felt immediate leg pain. I stopped the treadmill less than four minutes after the pain began.

I had pain straightening my leg. Actually, I couldn't fully straighten it.

The swelling above my knee got considerably larger.

I was fortunate to get to an Orthopedist a few days later, he put a syringe into one of the areas of swelling (my swelling was on both sides above the knee), pushed the fluid from the left side towards the right, and withdrew 50 cc (nearly 2 ounces) of blood from the swelling. He called it Hemearthrosis. The pain and stiffness resolved.

My point in discussing this is that it's interesting; that it may be something that others here suffer with and may now know about; and just to let you know that it may be possible that I'm not the only person with this problem. Also, fwiw, in the case of the Baker's Cyst, wrapping the knee before the swelling gets too great may halt the progression of this condition.