Ankle Swelling

Legs | General Practice | Ankle Swelling (Disease)


Ankle swelling represents fluid buildup or inflammation of the joint and tissues of the ankle. Swollen ankles can also indicate a potentially serious disorder, such as congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, and liver failure. Ankle swelling may occur with other symptoms including: fatigue or weakness, fever and chills, headache, joint stiffness, mucus-producing cough (wet cough), muscle cramps, painful or tender area, rash, red, swollen joint, reduced range of motion or movement, varicose veins.

Causes and Risk factors

Mild ankle swelling is a common occurrence after standing for a long period. Also known as edema, ankle swelling can also result from serious infections, trauma, circulatory disorders, heart or other cardiac disorders, and other abnormal processes. Ankle swelling can also be caused by pregnancy, being overweight, vascular problems, or orthopedic conditions, such as a bone fracture or a sprained ankle. Diseases of the joints, such as arthritis, can also affect the joints of the ankle and foot, leading to swelling of the involved areas. One or both ankles may swell for a short time, such as after standing for a long time or sitting during a long airline flight.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatments for swollen ankles and feet depend on the particular cause, but anti-inflammatory medications are often used to manage the pain associated with strains and sprains. ...