Swollen ankles

What causes swollen ankles?

There are a number of different conditions that can cause swollen ankles. Some causes are specific to the ankle region, such as swelling due to injury or trauma to the ankle, or a localised infection around the ankle.

Other causes of swollen ankles are more systemic, and include lymphodema, venous insufficiency, heart, liver or kidney disease. Swollen ankles are also more common in people with diabetes as peripheral circulation is commonly affected by this condition.

Should I be concerned about my swollen ankles?

Swollen ankles are fairly common and are not always cause for concern. For example, you may notice swelling in your ankles at the end of the day if you have been standing or walking a lot more than usual. However, if your ankle swelling does not go away with rest and elevation, or if your ankles are regularly swollen at the end of a normal day, then you may have an underlying condition that requires treatment.

What should I do about my swollen ankles?

If you regularly experience swollen ankles, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist to determine the cause of your swollen ankles. Depending on your medical history and clinical examination, further investigations may be recommended to confirm diagnosis and ensure the most appropriate treatment plan to address your ankle swelling.

What can I do to prevent swollen ankles?

If you have an underlying condition that is causing your ankles to swell, then the most important thing is to ensure that this condition is being managed effectively. For example, if your swollen ankles are related to a localised infection, then treatment to eliminate any infection will be the first priority.

Once any underlying conditions are suitably addressed, you may find that compression socks or compression stockings are a good solution to help prevent swollen ankles in the future.

Compression socks and stockings help to reduce swelling in the ankles by exerting pressure against the feet and legs, to improve venous blood flow and reduce pooling of fluid. At Entire Podiatry, we believe that most people can benefit from compression socks or stockings, and many people find these help to reduce swelling and aching legs.

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