Q. What causes ankle swelling?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxena
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 09, 2015 and last reviewed on: Feb 19, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 52 year old male. Every alternate day, I used to play tennis and swim for an hour. My weight is 100 kg and I am 5 feet 11 inches tall. All my blood reports are normal. I am taking a few medicines regularly, which includes Losar H, Amlopin 2.5, Rozavel 20, Glycomet SR 500. My average blood pressure is 135/85 and my sugar is 109. My water retention around ankles (inner side) is 6.1. Please explain the reason for ankle swelling.

Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxena

Orthopedics And Traumatology Spine Surgery


Welcome to icliniq.com.

For your age of 52, you appear to be very active.

With all parameters, your BMI is on a higher side, and you have to lose some weight. It seems that you have been prescribed medications by your general physician for management of diabetes and hypertension.

There are many causes of swelling in the legs and associated regions like ankle, etc. The most common reason is posture, and many patients develop it when they stand for a long time. But as soon as they elevate their leg up, the swelling will subside. It is also a common manifestation of systemic pathologies like diabetes, cardiac causes, etc.

It can happen after infection or inflammation too. Sometimes heavy physical activity may also lead to swelling in your calf muscles and around ankle region.

But we have to look at medical causes as well. Chronic cardiac conditions can lead to swelling. Any pathology which leads to low protein in the body like deranged liver function tests, kidney function tests, etc., can also lead to swelling. Hypothyroidism can also lead to generalized swelling like appearance in the body.

So for accurate diagnosis, we need to clinically evaluate and get some appropriate tests done. It includes CBC (complete blood count), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), CRP (C-reactive protein), LFT (liver function test), KFT (kidney function test), serum electrolytes and thyroid profile.

Most of the conditions can be managed under the supervision of a good physician especially if there is no history of any injury which is also very unlikely to happen around both ankles simultaneously.

The Probable causes:

1. Postural.
2. Cardiac causes and hypertension.
3. Systemic pathology like diabetes.

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