Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Swelling of the feet and ankles can occur as a result of conditions involving the local extremities as well as systemic conditions (diseases and conditions that affect the entire body). Localized processes such as injuries and infections may lead to a swollen foot and/or ankle only on the involved side. Swelling of the ankle on one side is often a result of sprains or strains. Sometimes diseases that affect the entire body, such as heart disease and kidney or liver failure, can result in excess fluid buildup (edema) that is often concentrated in the legs and feet, leading to swelling not only of the ankles but also of the feet and lower legs. This can also occur with obstruction of the venous system, as may occur with pregnancy and obesity. Diseases of the joints, such as arthritis, can also affect the joints of the ankle and foot, leading to swelling of the involved areas. Treatments for swollen ankles and swollen feet depend on the particular cause, but anti-inflammatory medications are often used to manage the pain associated with strains and sprains.
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Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Causes of Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
In This ArticleAnkle Pain Article
- Ankle pain and tendinitis facts
- How is the ankle designed, and what is the ankle's function?
- What injuries can cause ankle pain?
- What diseases and conditions can cause ankle pain, and how are they treated?
In This ArticleArthritis Article
- Arthritis facts
- What is arthritis? What causes arthritis?
- What are risk factors for arthritis?
- What are arthritis symptoms and signs?
- Who is affected by arthritis?
- How is arthritis diagnosed, and why is a diagnosis important?
- What is the treatment for arthritis?
- Is there a special diet for arthritis?
- What are the prognosis (outlook) for arthritis, and what are arthritis complications?
- Can arthritis be prevented?
- What is the national financial impact of arthritis?
- What is a rheumatologist?
- What is the Arthritis Foundation?
In This ArticleBone Fracture (Broken Bone) Article
- Bone fracture facts
- Introduction and definition of bone fracture
- What causes a bone fracture?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bone fracture?
- What are common types of bone fractures?
- Broken wrist
- Broken hip
- Broken leg
- Broken shoulder
- Broken hand or fingers
- Open fracture
- Stress fracture
- Compression fracture
- Broken rib
- Skull fracture
- Other fractures
- Bone fracture in children
- How is a bone fracture diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a bone fracture?
- Bone fracture surgery
In This ArticleBruises Article
- What is a bruise?
- Why do bruises occur more frequently in some people than in others?
- What does a bruise look like, and why does it change color?
- What if the bruise doesn't get better or the area stays swollen?
- What are some less common causes of bruising, and what do they indicate?
- What is the treatment for bruising?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for bruising?
- Bumps & bruises facts
In This ArticleBug Bites and Stings Article
- Bug bites and stings introduction
- What can I do to keep insects away?
- What's the proper way to use insect repellent?
- What's the best way to remove a bee stinger?
- What should I do if I find a tick on me or my child?
- What can be done for itching and pain from bites and stings?
- When is medical attention needed?
- Where can I find more information on bug bites and stings?
In This ArticleBurns (First Aid) Article
- Introduction to burns
- How are burns classified?
- What is the significance of the amount of body area burned?
- How important is the location of a burn?
- What about electrical burns?
- What about chemical burns?
- First aid for burns
In This ArticleCellulitis Article
- Cellulitis facts
- What is cellulitis?
- What are cellulitis symptoms and signs?
- Where does cellulitis occur?
- What does cellulitis look like?
- What are cellulitis risk factors?
- What causes cellulitis?
- Is cellulitis contagious?
- How is cellulitis diagnosed, and what is the treatment for cellulitis?
- Can cellulitis be prevented?
- What is the outlook/prognosis for cellulitis?
In This ArticleCirrhosis (Liver) Article
- Cirrhosis facts
- What is cirrhosis?
- Why does cirrhosis cause problems?
- What are the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis?
- What are the complications of cirrhosis?
- What are the common causes of cirrhosis?
- How is cirrhosis diagnosed and evaluated?
- How is cirrhosis treated?
- What is new and in the future for cirrhosis?
In This ArticleCongestive Heart Failure (CHF) Article
- 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 is the prognosis for congestive heart failure?
- Can congestive heart failure be prevented?
In This ArticleDeep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Article
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) facts
- Introduction to deep vein thrombosis
- What are the causes of deep vein thrombosis?
- What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?
- When should I seek medical care for deep vein thrombosis?
- How is deep vein thrombosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for deep vein thrombosis?
- What are the complications of deep vein thrombosis?
- Can deep vein thrombosis be prevented?
In This ArticleGout (Gouty Arthritis) Article
- Gout facts
- What is gout?
- What causes gout?
- What are risk factors for gout?
- What are symptoms and signs of gout?
- How is gout diagnosed?
- When should gout be treated?
- What is the treatment for gout?
- Do gout medications have any side effects?
- What foods should people with gout avoid?
- What complications are associated with gout?
- What is the prognosis of gout?
- Is it possible to prevent gout?
- What research is being done on gout?
In This ArticleObesity Article
- Obesity facts
- What is obesity?
- How common is obesity?
- What are the health risks associated with obesity?
- What causes obesity?
- What are other factors associated with obesity?
- How is body fat measured?
- What about weight-for-height tables?
- What is the body mass index (BMI)?
- Does it matter where body fat is located?
- What can be done about obesity?
- What is the role of physical activity and exercise in obesity?
- What is the role of diet in the treatment of obesity?
- What is the role of medication in the treatment of obesity?
- What about herbal fen/phen?
- What about meal substitutes, artificial sweeteners, and OTC products?
- What is the role of surgery in the treatment of obesity?
- How can patients choose a safe and successful weight-loss program?
In This ArticleOsteomyelitis Article
- Osteomyelitis facts
- What is osteomyelitis?
- What causes osteomyelitis?
- What are osteomyelitis symptoms and signs?
- How is osteomyelitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for osteomyelitis?
- What is the prognosis for osteomyelitis?
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 ArticlePregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters) Article
- Pregnancy facts*
- What is the first trimester (week 1-week 12)?
- What is the second trimester (week 13-week 28)?
- What is the third trimester (week 29-week 40)?
- How will my baby develop week by week?
- What are the changes that happen to a woman's body during her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy?
- Body aches
- Breast changes
- Fatigue, sleep problems
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Leg cramps
- Morning sickness
- Nasal problems
- Numb or tingling hands
- Stretch marks, skin changes
- Urinary frequency and leaking
- Varicose veins
In This ArticlePseudogout Article
- Pseudogout facts
- What is pseudogout?
- What are causes of pseudogout?
- What are risk factors for pseudogout?
- What are pseudogout symptoms and signs?
- How does a doctor diagnose pseudogout?
- What are treatments for pseudogout?
- What other conditions can accompany pseudogout?
- Are there special circumstances that can promote attacks of pseudogout?
- What are complications of pseudogout?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) of pseudogout?
- Can pseudogout be prevented?
In This ArticleRheumatoid Arthritis Article
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
- What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
- What are causes and risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis?
- What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs?
- What are complications of rheumatoid disease?
- How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
- "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
- "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs
- What are newer treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?
- What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
- Rheumatoid arthritis diet and other treatments
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
- Can rheumatoid arthritis be prevented?
- What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
- Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
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?
In This ArticleSprains and Strains Article
- Muscle sprains and strains facts
- What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
- What causes a sprain or strain?
- Where do sprains and strains usually occur?
- What are sprain symptoms and signs?
- How are sprains and strains diagnosed?
- How are sprains and strains treated?
- What is the recovery time for sprains and strains?
- Can sprains and strains be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of sprains and strains?
- Where can people find more information about sprains and strains?
In This ArticleTurf Toe Article
- What causes turf toe?
- What are the symptoms and signs of turf toe?
- How is turf toe diagnosed?
- How is turf toe treated? Is taping or rehab necessary in the treatment of turf toe?
- Can turf toe be prevented?
In This ArticleVasculitis Article
- Vasculitis facts
- What is vasculitis?
- What causes vasculitis, and what are examples of diseases with vasculitis?
- What are the symptoms of vasculitis?
- How is vasculitis diagnosed?
- How is vasculitis treated?
Other Causes of Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
- Abrasion, Blister
- Cor Pulmonale
- Joint Infection
- Liver Failure
- Lymphatic Insufficiency
- Lymphatic Obstruction
- Nephrotic Syndrome
- Prolonged Standing
- Stress Fractures
- Venous Insufficiency/Venous Stasis
Examples of Medications for Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
- acetaminophen, Tylenol and Others
- acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin, Ecotrin
- furosemide, Lasix
- hydrochlorothiazide, (Hydrodiuril, Ezide, Hydro-Par [discontinued]), Microzide, and many others
- ibuprofen, Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever etc.
- naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
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