Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT as it is commonly called, is the formation of clot within your deep veins. Is there anything that makes your swelling go away? Do you have swelling of just one foot, ankle, and/or leg? This is important to avoid further injury to your ligament and bones. The truth is, cellulitis is more likely to happen if your immune system is weakened. However, the aim is primarily preventing small clots from growing bigger. Common causes of swollen ankles, feet and legs. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of infection and keep fluids in balance. It is caused by a combination of pregnancy hormones, the increased volume of fluid being carried in the blood vessels, and by the growing uterus, which places pressure on the veins that carry blood up from the legs. Swelling in the legs can occur after giving birth as well, and can last a few days after the birth. Swollen ankles in the elderly are especially common and can be the result of many different conditions, some having a more benign cause while … People who experience a DVT should consider: During pregnancy, the body produces more blood and bodily fluids to support the developing fetus. Another serious reason for one ankle swelling is a skin infection. Heart, kidney and liver disease. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. If you think your ankle is swollen for no reason, you may be incorrect. Potential injuries can include breaking the leg or foot, snapping a tendon, or a sprained ankle. ankle painankle swellingbones of footfoot painfoot swellingheel pain, Dr. Akatakpo Dunn is a senior medical officer at the Presbyterian Joint hospital. Symptoms of DVT are pain and swelling of your calf, leg, and ankle. A doctor may prescribe diuretic medications and suggest monitoring and reducing fluid intake. He has done over 100 c-section and supervised the delivery of over 300 babies. Sitting or standing in one place for too long can increase swelling. If this happens, there is a risk of pulmonary embolism that occurs if clot detaches and travel to lungs. https://www.nhsinform.scot/.../self-management-advice/ankle-problems Albumin prevents fluid from leaking out of the blood vessels and into surrounding tissues. Untreated or poorly treated cellulitis of the ankle joint can cause pus accumulation. Symptoms are fever (high body temperature), redness, pain and swelling of right or left ankle, or an overlying skin sore. If a person hurts his leg by pulling a muscle, or falling and bruising it, a little bit of swelling can be considered normal. Over time, these veins get larger and are able to drain blood from the limb. buildup of fluid called lymph in the tissues under your skin when something blocks its normal flow This is mainly composed of white blood cells, which help fight infection. Other causes of swelling in one foot include skin infections like cellulitis, or ankle arthritis which can also be the cause of one swollen ankle. DVT obstructs the flow of blood returning to the heart, causing it to build up in the affected limb. Patients almost always remember the particular injury, but occasionally even subtle injuries can also lead to ankle swelling. While a lot of people with a blood clot will have no symptoms, it could become fatal if clot moves through your blood and block the pulmonary artery (Pulmonary embolism). In some cases, ankle and calf swelling may be due to deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Swollen ankles can occur as a result of many conditions, and the treatment will depend on the underlying causes. Other factors that increase your chances of developing skin infection are Diabetes Mellitus, HIV infection, and persistent IV drug use. Raise your ankle above your heart level. What happens if cellulitis is left untreated? In CVI, however, the valves malfunction and allow some of the blood to flow backward and pool in the lower legs and ankles. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including swollen ankles. When you are active it helps the blood flow to leave the legs and go … A heart, kidney, liver disease can cause the swelling of your ankle without any physical insult. Is there anything that makes your ankle swelling worse? In most cases, swelling is due to injury or edema. Dr. Dunn A. Cellulitis is an infection of the soft tissues. At the end of a full day of walking and sitting, gravity has been consistently … Foot or ankle injury. Though rare, a Deep vein thrombosis affects 2 in 1000 people in the United States. eating too much salty food. It is particularly common in the lower leg, ankles, and feet. There are three different types of heart failure: left-sided, right-sided, and congestive heart failure. It could be there all the time, or it could come and go. In mild cases, you may have a minor knock that causes pain and mild swelling. One of the first symptoms of DVT or thrombophlebitis is one swollen leg (especially the calf), as blood pools in the area. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. (Read more about him here). Smoking is a major risk factor for the formation of blood clot in your veins. Swelling of the ankle on one side is often a result of sprains or strains. In some cases, ankle swells up after sitting, walking or standing for long hours. People with diabetes are particularly … Cellulitis. What Causes Left Leg Swelling? CVI is a condition that affects the valves in the leg veins. Possible engorged superficial veins: varicose veins. If you smoke, there is a possibility you already have a serious illness. steroids. Usually, the clots occur in only one leg, and so just one leg is unusually swollen. It could have come on suddenly or gradually. Here are the common causes of only one ankle swelling. However, sudden swelling of the hands and face could be a sign of a potentially life-threatening condition called preeclampsia. If you smoke, it is important you tell your doctor too. This can cause mild or severe swelling and pain of one ankle. People with cellulitis need to take antibiotics. Other risk factors are high blood pressure, diabetes, elderly men and women over 60 years, chronic alcoholism, cancer, and obesity. Some hereditary conditions can also cause lymphedema. An injury put you out. Read below for more causes, related symptoms, and treatment options for a swollen foot. The retention of water and blood can cause swelling in the legs. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society recommend the following home treatment for a sprained ankle: Bacterial infections in the skin are called cellulitis. Leg swelling caused by the retention of fluid in leg tissues is known as peripheral edema. If you have an ankle sprain, it is essential to see your doctor. Although CVI does not have severe complications, it can be painful and uncomfortable. The goal is to reduce the tenderness and pain at your joint and improve joint flexibility. Swelling in both ankles and feet during pregnancy is a common occurrence. Question: What causes one ankle swelling? Your ankles support your legs, carry the weight of your entire body and are important for movement. In addition to swelling and redness, the affected leg will have trouble bearing weight and be painful to the touch. Your email address will not be published. If you smoke, there is a possibility you already have a serious illness. The most common type of edema is from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Lymphedema occurs when there is a blockage or some other damage to the lymphatic system. The ankle is a little sore when I push on it but no other more serious symptoms of DVT. The material on this website is written by Dr. Dunn A. Then again, osteoarthritis can affect other joint too. So, if you feel pain in your hip, knee, or both ankles, its likely due to arthritis. Your doctor will prescribe blood-thinning medications that reduce your chances of forming clots. Treatment options are available. Disclaimer A traumatic injury, such as an ankle sprain or a broken ankle, is the most common cause of ankle swelling. If you feel pain and swelling in your ankle, it could be due to an underlying problem. Swelling of the extremities or peripheral edema can affect one or both ankles. See your doctor for further treatment options. Leg swelling isn't always a sign of a heart or circulation problem. Infection of the skin, medically referred to as cellulitis, can cause ankle swelling if you have a laceration or cut on your skin. Rest your leg, foot, and ankle. Lymphedema can result from infections, cancer, and surgical removal of the lymph nodes. With lots of crap online, I Hope to quickly give reliable information about health. This article explains causes of left or right ankle swelling and what to do to feel okay. Most swollen ankles are attributed to strains or sprains, but they are also common among people who suffer from conditions that cause excessive fluid buildup, a condition known in medical circles as edema. To reduce the swelling from a foot or ankle injury, rest to avoid walking on the injured ankle or foot, use ice packs, wrap the foot or ankle with compression bandage, and elevate the foot on a stool or pillow. In simple terms, osteoarthritis means breakdown or loss of joint cartilages at your ankle joint. Medications like ibuprofen or naproxen will make you calm. When the muscles are inactive, they can’t pump body fluids back up toward the heart. 3. Lymphedema is a type of swelling that affects the soft tissues in the arms or legs, including the ankles. Sometimes, the body is able to compensate for the blockage by gradually diverting blood through smaller neighboring veins. Other risk factors are bone deformity, prior injury to your ankle joint, previous joint surgery, and jobs that make you use a particular joint all the time. If swelling and pain is severe or doesn't improve with home treatme… Also, regularly following up with your check up prevents complications. When organs aren’t working as well as they should, fluid can build up in the legs. These basic recommendations help in reducing your pain and prevents your injury from getting worse. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. These medications can cause severe bleeding due to interfering with the normal clotting mechanism. Yes, the swelling is just on one side. If you have swelling of one leg, there is a chance it could be DVT. Lymphedema. Examples of some treatment options include: Sometimes, a blood clot, or “thrombosis,” can develop in one of the veins in the arm or leg. applying ice in a thin piece of cloth for no more than 20 minutes, keeping the legs raised to improve blood flow, wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling, undergoing radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to close the affected vein, wearing compression stockings to promote blood flow, taking anticoagulant medications, or blood-thinners, undergoing a stenting procedure, during which a surgeon inserts a tube called a stent into the vein to keep it open, limiting time outdoors during hot weather, increasing heart and respiration rate through exercise, getting a gentle massage from a therapist who is trained in treating lymphedema, exercising for at least 30 minutes per day, swelling that worsens or does not improve, a sudden increase in swelling during pregnancy, a history of heart, kidney, or liver disease. Causes are an ankle sprain, arthritis, direct leg trauma, gout, baker’s cyst, and thrombosis of deep veins. Confirm Deep Vein Thrombosis: A quick test that may help aid in diagnosis is the Homan test: Have someone squeeze both calf muscles. Swollen feet and ankles is often one of the first signs of kidney problems and tends to be worst in the morning. Systemic illnesses usually do not cause pain. If this happens, you will have swelling affecting only one ankle. This is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and requires urgent medical attention. It is best to see your doctor to decide what works best for you. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. People with diabetes are particularly prone to this type of infection. Local infections or trauma near the ankle can cause edema. If you just had an accident or twisted your ankle joint, swelling may be due to an ankle sprain. Heart Problems. Swelling of one ankle without pain may also be due to heart and kidney disease. The truth is, many factors can trigger leg, ankle and foot swelling. But sometimes one leg will swell while the other stays relatively normal. A doctor can carry out a blood test to check a person’s thyroid hormone levels, and treatment involves taking synthetic thyroid hormones. About Medplux An ankle sprain is one of the most common foot injuries. A person may not experience any symptoms until they are in the late stages of the disease, called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Take Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to help with the pain. Ankle sprain, osteoarthritis, Deep vein thrombosis, gout, dislocation, fracture of the lower tibia or fibula bones, fracture of the talus or calcaneus, and cellulitis. Some medications can cause the ankles to swell as a side effect. In this article, we look at 11 causes of swollen ankles and cover some of the best treatment options. Last medically reviewed on January 30, 2019, A look at foot exercises for strength, flexibility, and pain relief. It is best you follow your doctor advice and clinic appointments. Damage to the lymphatic system is irreversible, so treatment aims to reduce swelling and prevent other symptoms. This is necessary to assess the extent of the injury. A doctor can help a person with CVI develop a personalized treatment plan. A specific part of the leg(s) could be swollen, or the entire leg(s). Contact Us Doctor refer skin infection as cellulitis, and it is caused by bacterial infection. An itchy ankle is a complaint with a wide variety of causes. Such medications include: People who suspect that their ankles are swollen as a side effect of medication may wish to talk to their doctor. This will also help with your swelling and alleviate pain (please, do not use ice directly on your skin). Preeclampsia is characterized by dangerously high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It is important you do not take medications on your own. Oedema is usually caused by: standing or sitting in the same position for too long. DVT is a serious medical condition when clots forms inside your veins, especially in your calf and legs. Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 04:37 pm. The swollen area becomes warm, red or inflamed. If you have osteoarthritis, swelling of the ankle is a sign. Any injury to your ankle joint may cause swelling and pain of one or both ankles. Swollen ankles can cause pain and difficulty in bearing the weight, which will affect movements like standing and walking. Chronic kidney disease refers to permanent kidney damage, which can worsen over time. Terms and Conditions A doctor may prescribe diuretic medications or suggest methods for reducing the swelling if it is uncomfortable. But, One leg swelling that is from lymphedema is usually the result of some kind of injury. Women who experience mild swelling during pregnancy may get relief from home remedies such as: Preeclampsia is a life-threatening condition that can occur during the second or third trimester of pregnancy, or up to 6 weeks after giving birth. Delivering the baby is the most effective treatment, although some women may experience worsening symptoms before they get better. Common causes of ankle swelling include the following. © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. Possible causes of swollen ankles include: People who sustain an injury to the foot or ankle may experience inflammation in that area, causing it to appear swollen. Are pain and difficulty in bearing the weight of your ankle swelling worse swell while the ankle. Up toward the heart can no longer pump blood as effectively as it should is swollen no... Swollen area becomes warm, red or inflamed CT scan and an MRI to detect veins. 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