What Causes Swollen Ankles

What Causes Swollen Ankles

Ankle swelling is a common medical problem that develops when fluid builds up in the tissues surrounding the ankle joint, making it painful and swollen. This may occur for a number of reasons and may be a sign of underlying medical conditions that need to be treated. We will go over the common reasons of swollen ankles in this post, along with its diagnosis, treatment, and preventative measures.


Common Causes of Swollen Ankles

Edema: Often brought on by trauma, inflammation, or illness, edema is defined by the buildup of extra fluid in the tissues. This can result in swollen ankles.

  • Injury: Tissue injury and inflammation from ankle sprains, fractures, or trauma can cause swelling around the ankle joint.
  • Venous Insufficiency: Lower extremity swelling can arise from a persistent state of venous insufficiency, in which the veins struggle to pump blood back to the heart. This condition can also cause fluid to accumulate in the ankles.
  • Lymphedema: This disorder is characterized by the retention of lymphatic fluid, which impedes lymphatic drainage and results in swelling in the ankles and legs.
  • Heart Failure: As a result of elevated blood vessel pressure brought on by heart failure, the body may retain fluid, causing swelling in places like the ankles.
  • Medication: Some drugs, such as NSAIDs, steroids, and calcium channel blockers, can cause fluid retention and, as a side effect, swollen ankles.
  • Pregnancy: Expectant moms may experience fluid retention and swollen ankles as a result of hormonal changes and increased blood vessel pressure.
  • Infections: When the body fights against an infection, swelling may result from an infection in the ankle joint or the tissues around it.
  • Kidney Disease: Fluid-balancing kidney abnormalities can cause edema and swelling in the ankles among other regions of the body.
  • Obesity: Carrying too much weight can put pressure on the veins in the legs, preventing healthy blood flow and raising the risk of ankle swelling.

These are a few common reasons for swollen ankles, and to properly address the underlying problem, each one needs to be evaluated and managed appropriately.



Rest and Elevation: By encouraging fluid outflow from the ankles, elevating the legs above the level of the heart and relaxing can assist minimize edema.

  • Compression therapy: Applying bandages or compression stockings might help decrease ankle edema and enhance circulation.
  • Medication: To reduce discomfort and inflammation brought on by swollen ankles, doctors may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs).
  • Treatment of Underlying Conditions: The key to a successful outcome in treating ankle edema is to address the underlying cause, which may include controlling venous insufficiency, heart failure, or kidney illness.
  • Physical therapy: Over time, ankle stability can be improved and swelling can be decreased with the use of stretches, range-of-motion exercises, and strengthening exercises.
  • Lifestyle Changes: You can prevent repeated ankle swelling by eating a balanced diet, being active, avoiding extended standing or sitting, and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Surgical Intervention: To treat the underlying issue when structural problems such as tendon injuries or arthritis are the cause of ankle edema, surgery may be advised.

A medical professional's consultation is important in order to obtain a precise diagnosis and a customized treatment plan that addresses the unique cause of swollen ankles.



The following precautions should be taken in order to avoid swollen ankles:

  • Sustaining physical activity: Frequent exercise, such as cycling, swimming, or walking, helps to improve leg circulation and lowers the risk of ankle fluid collection.
  • Use ankle support: Ankle support brace can assist in preventing excessive fluid buildup in the ankles, preserve normal alignment, lessen strain on the muscles and ligaments, and give stability to the ankle joint.
  • Limiting salt intake: Eating too much salt can cause the body, especially the ankles, to retain water. Reducing your intake of salt will assist avoid fluid retention and lower your chance of developing swollen ankles.
  • Steer clear of prolonged standing or sitting: Prolonged inactivity, including standing or sitting, can aggravate lower extremity circulation issues and fluid retention. In order to encourage blood flow and reduce ankle swelling, take short breaks to raise your legs, stretch your calf muscles, and walk about.
  • Wearing supportive and comfortable shoes: It's important to select shoes that fit properly and offer enough support to avoid ankle strain and injury. Steer clear of shoes with tiny toe boxes or high heels as they might compress the feet and impede circulation.

You may lower your chance of getting swollen ankles and keep your foot and ankle functions in good condition by adopting these preventive measures into your everyday routine.


The information provided in articles written by Fivali is intended for educational and reference purposes only. The content on this website ( is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We do not recommend self-diagnosis or self-treatment based on the information provided in our articles. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your health or well-being.
If you are experiencing any symptoms or discomfort, we strongly encourage you to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional. Only a licensed healthcare practitioner can provide an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

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