Swollen Ankles and Swollen Feet

Swelling of the Ankles and Feet Symptoms and Causes

Swelling of the feet and ankles can occur as a result of conditions involving the local extremities as well as diseases and conditions that affect the entire body. Examples of causes of swelling of only one ankle or foot are sprains and strains. Sometimes diseases that affect the entire body, such as heart disease and kidney or liver failure, can result in excess fluid buildup (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 pregnancy.

What causes swollen ankles and swollen feet?

Swollen ankles and swollen feet have numerous causes. Medically, the word swollen means protuberant or abnormally distended. Thus, if an ankle or foot is swollen, means it is increased in size. In most common situations, when the word swollen is used in reference to feet and ankles, the user implies the distention or size increase is due to an increase of fluid in the tissues (also termed edema). However, the broad definition includes any factors that increase ankle or foot size (for example increased fluids, increased inflammatory cells or both). Because the majority of factors that cause foot swelling also may cause ankle swelling, this article will discuss swelling as a general topic to cover both foot and ankle swelling. Some of the few exceptions where only foot or ankle swelling occur without both being involved will be presented. Swollen feet and ankles are usually a symptom or sign of some underlying problem, the majority of which are not a major cause for concern. However, in some instances, foot, ankle, and toes swelling may warn a person that an underlying problem needs immediate medical attention. Continue Reading

2/11
Reviewed on 7/15/2015
Foot Health Pictures Slideshow: What Your Feet Say About Your Health

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!