At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that swollen ankles can be uncomfortable and even painful. Thanks to gravity, your ankles and feet are prime areas for excess fluid in your body to collect. The reasons behind the swelling--known as edema in the medical world—can range from something minor to a major medical concern. Below are seven possible causes of swelling in your ankles.
- It’s the beginning of arthritis. Not just a single disease, arthritis is an umbrella term that covers over 100 conditions that can negatively affect the health of your joints. Joint inflammation can result in swelling. You may also feel pain and experience redness and heat around the joint.
- You’re not moving—simply standing or sitting in one place for too long can cause ankles to swell.
- You’ve put on a few extra pounds. Being overweight can put extra stress on your joints and trigger fluid retention. In severely overweight or obese people, extra fat cells contain excess
hormones whichcan also cause your body to retain water.
- You have high blood pressure or heart disease. Swelling in your ankles (and your feet and legs) can be a sign that your heart is not pumping properly.
- You’ve got a bacterial infection. Although it’s possible to have an infection develop from a wound in or near your ankle joint, any bacteria that
entersyour bloodstream can end up causing an infection in any of your joints. Telltale signs of infection include heat and redness around the joint and also a fever.
- It’s your medication. There are several medicines, both prescription and over the counter that can cause fluid retention and swollen ankles. These include certain blood pressure medications, some antidepressants, hormones and anti-inflammatory steroids. Even NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can cause ankles to blow up.
- Your veins aren’t working the way they should. Over time,
veinscan stretch out and valves in them can start to leak, resulting in blood pooling your ankles and feet. This is more likely to happen if you are over the age of 50 and female.
Ongoing swelling of your ankles or swelling that gets worse suddenly or is accompanied by other serious symptoms like fever, shortness of breath or feeling lightheaded requires immediate medical attention. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices and our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.