Possible causes of swollen ankles and feet


Painless swelling of the feet and ankles is a common problem, especially among older people. Abnormal buildup of fluid in the ankles, feet, and legs is called edema. Swollen ankles and swollen feet are common and usually not cause for concern, particularly if you have been standing or walking a lot.

Foot, leg, and ankle swelling is common with the following situations:

(1) Being overweight

(2) Blood clot in the leg

(3) Increased age

(4) Leg infection

(5) Veins in the legs that cannot properly pump blood back to the heart

(6) Injury or surgery involving the leg, ankle, or foot can cause swelling: An injury to the foot or ankle can lead to swelling. The most common is a sprained ankle, which occurs when an injury or misstep causes the ligaments that hold the ankle in place to be stretched beyond their normal range.

(7) 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

(8) Swelling may occur in women who take estrogen or during parts of the menstrual cycle. Most women have some swelling during pregnancy. Sudden or excessive swelling, however, may be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious condition in which high blood pressure and protein in the urine develop after the 20th week of pregnancy.

(9) Swollen legs may be a sign of heart failure, kidney failure, or liver failure. In these conditions, there is too much fluid in the body.

Certain medications may also cause your legs to swell:

(1) Antidepressants, including MAO inhibitors
(2) Blood pressure medicines called calcium channel blockers (such as nifedipine, amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, and verapamil)
(3) Hormones like estrogen (in birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy) and testosterone
(4) Steroids...

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