Main Causes For Ankle Swelling

Ankle swelling is a common condition that most people experience at least once in their lifetime. It is not a serious matter if the reason is standing or sitting for a long time.

But, ankle swelling requires more care if it is associated with some other disease. To differentiate this, you have to watch for other related symptoms.

Also Read: Ten Simple Home Remedies To Treat Swollen Feet, Legs & Ankle

An important point to remember is that ankle swelling is not always limited to the associated joint. Some diseases that affect other organs also cause the problem of swelling in the ankles.

Heart diseases, liver problems, kidney diseases or oedema can also cause ankle swelling. Physiological conditions like pregnancy are other major reasons for ankle swelling, which is a temporary condition that will resolve by itself.

Also Read: Simple Tips To Cure Ankle Pain During Pregnancy

The accumulation of fluid is not generally painful, unless the reason is an injury. Ankle swelling in itself is not a specific disease, but it can be an indication of any underlying condition.

Here, we will discuss more about the main causes for ankle swelling, have a look.


This is a normal condition. However, if you notice a sudden or excessive swelling, then it can be due to a condition called pre-eclampsia. This happens due to high blood pressure. Other symptoms associated with this can be abdominal pain, headache, vomiting or vision changes.

Foot Or Ankle Injury

Injury to the foot or ankle will make the ligaments stretch beyond their normal capacity. To manage this, you should give enough rest, use ice packs or compression bandages and raise your foot while sitting.


Lymphedema is caused by the problems of lymph vessels or lymph nodes. When there is an obstruction for the lymph flow, this will cause swelling of the ankles. This is very common in patients who receive radiation therapy or undergo the procedure of lymph node removal.


Infection is always a reason for swelling. An infection of the ankle joint is one of the most common causes of ankle swelling. The treatment for ankle swelling should be given only after ruling out the exact reason.

Kidney Failure

Kidney problems can cause ankle swelling. The major reason behind this is the heavy loss of protein in the urine due to an impaired kidney function. This is one of the main causes for ankle swelling.

Heart Diseases

One of the major signs of worsening heart diseases is excessive swelling of the ankles. This is due to fluid accumulation caused by retention of salt and water. High blood pressure is also a reason that causes swelling.

Blood Clot

Blood flow from the legs back to the heart will be blocked when there is a clot formation in the veins of the legs. Clots can be superficial or deep. This can block one or more veins, which will prevent the return flow of blood from the legs to heart.

Liver Diseases

Liver is the organ that produces a protein called albumin. During liver disease, this production will be affected. Hence, this causes a leakage of fluid. Fluid tends to accumulate more in the feet and ankles because of the action of gravity.


Side effects of medicines is also one of the main causes for ankle swelling. Medicines for hormone treatment, blood pressure, steroids, antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ankle swelling.

Hence, consult your doctor if the condition persists for a long period of time, along with other symptoms.

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Read more about: ankle, feet, swelling
Story first published: Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 10:00 [IST]
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