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.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Main Article on Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
Causes of Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
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Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)
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Bug Bites and Stings
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Burns (First Aid)
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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Symptoms, Stages, and Prognosis
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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT, Blood Clot in the Legs)
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Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs
Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
Hereditary angioedema or HAE is a genetic disease that causes swelling of the skin and tissues beneath it. Symptoms of HAE...
Kidney Failure (Symptoms, Signs, Stages, Causes, and Treatment)
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Kidney Pain (Location, Symptoms, Relief)
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Liver cancer is cancer of the liver cells (hepatocellular carcinoma) or of the ducts in the liver (cholangiocarcinoma). Liver...
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Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)
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Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
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Sprains and Strains
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...
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Vasculitis (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Types)
Vasculitis (arteritis, angiitis) is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood...
Other Causes of Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
Examples of Medications for Swollen Ankles and/or Swollen Feet
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- furosemide (Lasix)
- hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Hydrodiuril, Ezide, and Hydro-Par have been discontinued)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers