Causes of swollen legs and ankles:
Below are eight potential causes of swollen legs and ankles.
1. Injury to the foot or ankle
An injury to the foot or ankle could cause swelling within the ankle and lower leg. one among the foremost common causes of injuries to the present area may be a sprained ankle.
A sprained ankle can occur as a result of an easy misstep, or a sports or exercise injury. It happens when the ligaments that connect the ankle to the foot and leg are pulled out of alignment.
A person who features a sprained ankle may experience pain and limited mobility within the ankle or foot.
The most common treatment for foot or ankle injuries is that the RICE procedure. RICE is an acronym which stands for:
Rest: Resting the affected foot helps to stop further damage.
Ice: Applying ice to the injury helps to numb pain and reduce swelling. People should wrap ice during a towel before applying it to the skin. Ideally, people should apply the ice pack for 10-20 minutes, three or more times per day.
Compression: Wearing a tourniquet will help to scale back swelling.
Elevation: Elevating the foot or ankle above heart level will help reduce swelling.
An infection within the feet, ankles, and lower legs can cause swelling during this area.
People who have diabetes are at increased risk of developing an infection in their feet. they ought to, therefore, inspect their feet regularly for bruising, cuts, and scrapes.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), people that have diabetes and an untreated infection within the foot or legs can develop gangrene. Gangrene is where body tissues die as a result of severe infection or reduced blood supply.
The treatment for a foot infection depends on its severity. In most cases, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.
If the infection has resulted in gangrene, the person may require surgery to get rid of the damaged toes or foot.
Lymphedema may be a condition during which excess fluid accumulates within the body’s tissues, causing swelling. Lymphedema occurs when an individual’s lymph nodes become damaged or are absent thanks to surgical removal.
The lymph nodes are glands that structure a part of the body’s system. They’re liable for helping to get rid of fluids from various parts of the body. If the lymph nodes within the pelvis are damaged or absent, this will cause fluid to create up within the legs.
A person who has lymphedema may experience a sense of heaviness or swelling in their legs or other affected body parts.
According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, some treatment options for lymphedema include:
Bandaging the affected leg
Wearing compression stockings.
Massaging the lymph nodes to encourage drainage.
Performing gentle exercises to encourage drainage.
Practicing good skincare to scale back the danger of infection and associated lymphedema.
4. Venous insufficiency
The veins within an individual’s legs contain special valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. Venous insufficiency may be a condition during which these valves not function properly. As a result, the veins not transport adequate amounts of blood from the legs copy to the guts .
When an individual has venous insufficiency, their blood flows backtrack the legs and becomes trapped within the soft tissues of the lower legs and ankles.
A person with venous insufficiency can also experience:
Changes in complexion
According to Stanford Health, the treatment for venous insufficiency involves returning blood flow to the legs. this might involve:
Avoiding crossing the legs when sitting or lying down
Elevating the legs
Performing regular exercise
Wearing compression stockings
People can also receive medications to treat venous insufficiency. The sort of medication an individual gets will depend upon the severity of their condition and their overall health.
A Grume within the legs can cause an individual’s ankles and legs to swell. Blood clots within the legs tend to develop on one side of the limb.
There are two main sorts of blood clot:
Superficial blood clots, which occur during a vein closer to the surface of the skin deep vein blood clots or “deep vein thromboses” (DVTs), which occur during a vein deep within the body.
A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the subsequent symptoms of a blood clot:
Swelling and pain in one leg
A heavy ache within the affected leg
An area of warm skin on the affected leg
An area of red skin behind and below the knee
A change within the color of the leg
Low grade fever
Sometimes, a bit of the clot breaks loose and travels to the guts , lungs, or brain. this will be life-threatening if left untreated.
Typically, people that have a grume receive anticoagulant medications, which help prevent clots from getting bigger. They also help prevent new clots from forming.
Two common anticoagulant medications are heparin and warfarin.