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Ultrasound is not a perfect test and can miss some DVTs, particularly if only one leg is imaged. There are other tests that can be preformed if clinical suspicion is present. Your doctor could order a d-dimer blood test. If PE is a consideration due to cough, chest pain or shortness of breath, a thoracic CT would be in order.
The work up is driven by clinical suspicion. It sounds like the first doctor had considered DVT because he ordered the ultrasound. While a normal study is very reassuring, it does not rule out a DVT completely. That said, there are other possible explanations for your symptoms such as muscle strain, edema, etc. Without examining you, I could not say what is most likely causing this. Certainly, the mild and intermittent nature of your symptoms is also reassuring, but this does not rule out a DVT or PE completely, either. Classic symptoms include calf pain, distal swelling, a "cord" in the upper calf and if there is a PE, chest pain, cough and/or shortness of breath. If these are present you should be re-evaluated. If they are not present or come and go and you feel well between, then there may be other explanations. If things are improving overall, this is also a suggestion that the cause is benign or the condition is resolving. Just don't ignore your symptoms or your instincts. If they remain high, get evaluated again and ask about the tests mentioned above.
Hi Ashley. How are your legs today? How about the rib pain? Have these symptoms improved? Let me know if you have any follow up questions. I would be happy to help further.