Swelling of Ankles


Feet | Orthopaedics | Swelling of Ankles (Symptom)


Description

Swelling of the feet and ankles can occur as a result of conditions involving the local extremities as well as systemic conditions (diseases and conditions that affect the entire body).

Causes

Localized processes such as injuries and infections may lead to a swollen foot and/or ankle only on the involved side. Swelling of the ankle on one side is often a result of sprains or strains. Injury or surgery involving the leg, ankle, or foot can cause swelling. Swelling may also occur after pelvic surgery, especially for cancer. Long airplane flights or car rides, as well as standing for long periods of time, often lead to some swelling in the feet and ankles.

Swelling may occur in women who take estrogen or during parts of the menstrual cycle. Most women have some swelling during pregnancy. More severe swelling during pregnancy may be a sign of preeclampsia (also called toxemia), a serious condition that includes high blood pressure and swelling.

Sometimes diseases that affect the entire body, such as heart disease and kidney or liver failure, can result in excess fluid build-up (edema) that is often concentrated in the legs and feet, leading to swelling not only of the ankles but also of the feet and lower legs. This can also occur with obstruction of the venous system, as may occur with pregnancy and obesity.

Certain medications may also cause the ankles to swell.

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