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Why is Your Foot or Ankle Swelling?

Swelling in the feet and/or ankles can have a variety of causes.

Sometimes the cause of swelling may be an infection, injury or something that needs immediate attention by a foot and ankle doctor .

To find out why your foot/and or ankle might be swelling, keep reading!

(image by Eorthopod.com)

If you suspect you have a life-threatening injury or condition, you should always go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

One of the most common conditions that can cause foot or ankle swelling is trauma, which may include ankle sprains, torn tendons, and fractures.

Foot and ankle overuse can lead to tendonitis, bursitis, and ligament or muscle strains, which can also cause swelling.

Arthritis can cause swelling in the foot or ankle. Types of arthritis that usually cause this type of pain include rheumatoid  and osteoarthritis.

Gout, which is caused by tiny crystals in the blood, can cause a very painful red, swollen big toe joint (when the crystals lodge in the toe joint). Gout can also happen in other joints, including the ankle and even the knee. Gout is normally caused by eating foods that are high in purine.

Problems with leg veins (venous insufficiency) can cause swelling in the the feet and ankles. This is when one limb  swells and varicose or spider veins appear on the leg or ankle.

Pain and swelling in the lower leg can also be signs of a blood clot, also known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to life-threatening and should be treated at the ER as soon as possible.

DVT happens when people cannot move their legs much over a long period of time such as air travel, a leg cast, or an illness requiring bed rest.  Your risk of DVT is increased if you are a woman taking birth control medications, smoke or have an inherited blood clotting disorder.

Swelling is often seen with infected ingrown toenails, infections between toes, and serious forms of athlete’s foot. Other ways infection can occur in the feet include trauma,  puncture wounds, nail injuries and diabetic wounds.

Swelling in the legs can be caused by prescription medications, such as birth control pills, estrogen replacement drugs, testosterone drugs, corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, blood pressure medicines, and the diabetes drugs.

Swelling in both ankles and feet during pregnancy is caused by a combination of pregnancy hormones and the increased volume of fluid being carried in the blood vessels.

If you have foot pain, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.

Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with a foot and ankle doctor about your foot and/or ankle needs.

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