Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Leg swelling generally occurs because of an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the lower extremity. The medical term for leg swelling from excessive fluid in the tissues is edema. Persisting indentation of a swollen leg after pressure from a finger is known as pitting edema.
Common causes of leg swelling include salt retention, cellulitis, congestive heart failure, and medication side effects. Less common causes of leg swelling include blood clots in the leg (thrombosis), parasite infection, lymphedema, liver disease, kidney disease, and diseases that cause thickness of the layers of skin, such as scleroderma and eosinophilic fasciitis. In these diseases, the leg swelling is typically characterized by nonpitting edema. When leg swelling occurs for unknown reasons, it is referred to as idiopathic edema.
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Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Causes of Leg Swelling
In This ArticleBaker Cyst Article
- Baker cyst facts
- What is a Baker cyst?
- What causes a Baker cyst?
- What are symptoms and signs of a Baker cyst?
- How is a Baker cyst diagnosed?
- How is a Baker cyst treated?
- What is the prognosis for a Baker cyst?
- Is it possible to prevent a Baker cyst?
In This ArticleCongestive Heart Failure (CHF) Article
- Congestive heart failure facts
- What is congestive heart failure (CHF)?
- What causes congestive heart failure?
- What are the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure?
- What are the risk factors for congestive heart failure?
- How is congestive heart failure diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for congestive heart failure?
- What lifestyle changes can help treat congestive heart failure?
- Fluid regulation
- Maintaining weight
- What is the long term prognosis for patients with congestive heart failure?
- Can congestive heart failure be prevented?
In This ArticleEosinophilic Fasciitis Article
- What are eosinophils?
- What is fascia?
- What is eosinophilic fasciitis?
- What causes eosinophilic fasciitis?
- What are symptoms and signs of eosinophilic fasciitis?
- How is eosinophilic fasciitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for eosinophilic fasciitis?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for eosinophilic fasciitis?
- Can eosinophilic fasciitis be prevented?
In This ArticleIliotibial Band Syndrome Article
- Iliotibial band syndrome facts
- What is iliotibial band syndrome?
- What causes iliotibial band syndrome?
- What are iliotibial band syndrome symptoms and signs?
- How is iliotibial band syndrome diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for iliotibial band syndrome?
- What stretches and exercises are beneficial for iliotibial band syndrome?
- What exercises should be avoided with iliotibial band syndrome?
- What is the prognosis for iliotibial band syndrome? Can iliotibial band syndrome be prevented?
- Where can people find more information about iliotibial band syndrome?
In This ArticlePhlebitis Article
- Phlebitis facts
- What is phlebitis and thrombophlebitis?
- What causes phlebitis?
- What are the risk factors for phlebitis?
- What are the symptoms of phlebitis?
- How is phlebitis diagnosed?
- How is phlebitis treated?
- What are the complications of phlebitis?
- Can phlebitis be prevented?
In This ArticlePreeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) Article
- Preeclampsia Facts*
- What Is High Blood Pressure?
- What Are the Effects of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
- What Is Preeclampsia?
- How Common Are High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?
- Who Is More Likely to Develop Preeclampsia?
- What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and How Is It Detected?
- How Can Women with High Blood Pressure Prevent Problems During Pregnancy?
- Does Hypertension or Preeclampsia During Pregnancy Cause Long-Term Heart and Blood Vessel Problems?
In This ArticleScleroderma Article
- Scleroderma facts
- What is scleroderma?
- What causes scleroderma?
- What are risk factors for developing scleroderma?
- How is scleroderma classified?
- What are scleroderma symptoms and signs?
- How is scleroderma diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for scleroderma?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with scleroderma?
- Can scleroderma be prevented?
Other Causes of Leg Swelling
Examples of Medications for Leg Swelling
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
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