Ankle Edema: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Do you really know the concept of ankle edema or swelling? Why it occurs? What are its causes? How is it diagnosed as well as what is its treatment? Let’s discusses it today.



What is Ankle Edema?

Ankles and legs are common places of swelling due to the effect of gravity on the fluids of the human body. However, gravity water retention is not the only cause of a swollen leg or ankle. Injury and subsequent inflammation can also cause fluid retention and swelling.


An ankle edema may make the lower leg look larger than normal. Swelling can make walking difficult. It can be painful, with the skin on the leg feeling and stretched. Although this condition is not always a concern, knowing your cause may eliminate a more serious problem.



What are the Causes of Ankle Edema?

There are several causes of ankle edema are normal as well as certain medical conditions including;

  • Overweight
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood clots in the leg
  • Heart failure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Kidney failure
  • Leg infection
  • Liver failure
  • Lymphedema
  • Previous surgery like pelvic, knee, ankle, hip or foot surgery.


Swelling of the leg and ankle may also be the result of inflammation due to chronic or acute injury. Conditions that can cause this type of inflammation include;

  • Ankle sprain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Broken leg
  • Gout
  • Achilles tendon rupture


Edema is a type of swelling that only occur when extra fluid flows into some areas of the body such as legs, arms, hands, ankles, and feet.



What are the Symptoms of Ankle Edema?

Following are some of the symptoms of ankle edema including;

  • Swelling or swelling of the tissue just under the skin, especially in the legs or arms
  • Skin stretched or shiny
  • Skin that retains a dimple (holes) after being pressed for a few seconds
  • Increase in the size of the abdomen



How Ankle Edema Diagnosis?

To understand what your edema might cause, your doctor will first do a physical exam and ask you questions about your medical history. This information is often enough to determine the cause of your edema. In some cases, X-rays, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance images, blood tests or urine tests may be required.



What are the Treatments for Ankle Edema?

For ankle edema, anybody can go for 2 types of treatment first home-based treatment and other is medical treatment.

Home-Based Treatment

For treating ankle edema in the home you can take any one of the following options including;

Rest: Stay away from the ankle or leg until you approach the doctor or until the swelling disappears.

Ice: Place the ice on the swollen area as fast as possible for 15 to 20 minutes. Then repeat every three or four hours.

Compression: Wrap your ankle or leg comfortably, but be careful not to break the circuit. Support stockings can be an option.

Elevation: Raise your ankle or leg on your heart (or as high as possible in your heart). Two pillows usually give you the right lift. This encourages the fluid to move away from your leg.


Medical Treatment

If you seek medical treatment, your doctor will likely determine what’s causing your symptoms. Testing may include:

  • Blood tests
  • An X-ray
  • Urinalysis
  • An electrocardiogram




Ankle edema is the common problems that are seen nowadays, but the problem can be easily cured by some basic changes like having a good lifestyle, good food, maintaining body weight, and doing exercise. With these options, a person can cure the problem before it appears.

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