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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Painful swollen leg – think beyond deep vein thrombosis or Baker's cyst

Buchi RB Arumilli*, Vinayagam Lenin Babu and Ashok S Paul

Author Affiliations

The Regional Sarcoma Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL, UK

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2008, 6:6  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-6-6

Published: 18 January 2008

Abstract

Background

The diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis of leg is very common in clinical practice. Not infrequently a range of pathologies are diagnosed after excluding a thrombosis, often after a period of anticoagulation.

Case presentation

This is a report of three patients who presented with a painful swollen leg and were initially treated as a deep vein thrombosis or a baker's cyst, but later diagnosed as a pleomorphic sarcoma, a malignant giant cell tumor of the muscle and a myxoid liposarcoma. A brief review of such similar reports and the relevant literature is presented.

Conclusion

A painful swollen leg is a common clinical scenario and though rare, tumors must be thought of without any delay, in a duplex negative, low risk deep vein thrombosis situation.