Swollen Ankles and Swollen Feet

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Quick GuideBurning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health

Burning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health

What causes swollen ankles and swollen feet? (Continued)

The causes of swollen feet and ankles are numerous; the following is a list of most of the major causes with some examples.

  • Dependent swelling (or edema): swelling due to standing or walking (usually over some time period that varies from person to person)
  • Pregnancy: the normal swelling that most pregnant women experience during pregnancy
  • Medications (side effects): Many medications have the side effect of fluid retention that manifests as swelling. Although the reader is advised to check their individual medications for side effects of swelling, general categories that may cause swelling include anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids and NSAIDs), hormones, medications for people with diabetes, antidepressants, and many calcium channel blockers (anti-hypertensive and cardiac medications).
  • Injury: any trauma to the foot or ankle (usually sprains or fractures) can result in swelling
  • Diseases: heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease (all of these diseases can influence fluid mobilization in the body by physical, metabolic and electrolyte-water interactions)
  • Infection: any infection, either localized (abscess) or diffuse (cellulitis)
  • Lymphedema: swelling due to lymph vessel or lymph node blockage of lymph fluid
  • Blood clot(s): blockage of blood vessels (usually venous) that cause fluid to leak out of vessels into tissue Continue Reading

Picture of pitted edema
Picture of pitted edema
Reviewed on 7/15/2015
References
REFERENCES:

American Pregnancy Association. Swelling During Pregnancy. April 1, 2014

Dumitru, I., et al. Heart Failure. Medscape. April 22, 2015

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12.Steven Pomberg/WebMD

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