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Dr.Sajid Nomani
Dr.Sajid Nomani, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 106
Experience:  MD,more than 8+ years of experience in General practice,obs n gynae & family medicine
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What could cause a sudden swelling of the ankle and foot

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What could cause a sudden swelling of the ankle and foot (toes and bottom of foot are normal; other foot is normal) in an active elderly woman with no history of similar swelling, water retenion or circulatory problems? She's been tested [several times by different doctors, including a podiatrist] for gout and infection, with neither in evidence. There is no sign of insect bite. She's had x-rays, which reveal nothing unusual. The swelling isn't painful, nor is there numbness, "fever," or discoloration of the impacted area. Her leg from the ankle up is normal. After three weeks with no diagnosis or change in the condition, this lady is fit to be tied -- and unable to wear anything but a very loose shoe on the swollen foot! Any advice will be more than welcome.


thanks for using Just Answer

painless swelling is caused by fluid build up in tissues,gravitational force pulled fluid in feet and makes its noticeable

its common in older people,

it can be caused by

1)prolonged standing

2)over weight

3)older age

4)leg infection

5)venous insufficiency--when vein in your legs unable to adequately pump blood/fluid back to heart

6)can be caused by varicose vein

7)malnutritions--high salt diet

8)neuromuscular disorder

well it can be symptoms of serious condition of HEART/KIDNEY/lungs

Specially heart failure/kidney failure in these condition there is too much fluid in body

i will recomend you to consult your physician regarding this ,you need to be examined by doctor for a proper examination,special attention to your heart/kidney/lungs and some test like CBC,blood chemistry,,urine analysis,,,chest x-ray,ECG,close examination of feet,or may be doppler study to see proper vein drainage (ruleout DVT)

some times others symptoms are silent in diseases of heart/kidney

well meanwhile you have to

1)cut down on salt in your food

2)elevate foot while lying down,,try to put at least 12 inches above your chest

3)exercise leg-help to improve pumping back body fluid to heart

4)wear supporting stoking(you can find OTC)

5)avoid standing or sitting at one place,make a small walk every 1 hour

i hope i have been able to help you in this issue

Follow-up questions are welcome if any

Please ACCEPT if you feel it was satisfactory

best Regards

dr.Sajid Nomani

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** for your helpful response. Just to clarify, is there an actual name for this nonspecific "painless swelling caused by fluid build up," common in elderly folks? As I said in my original question, her doctors have ruled out infection, gout, DVT and kidney problems. Do you think further tests are recommended? And would a simple diuretic help the condition??

I appreciate your attention to my query.


sorry for delay in reply

swelling is a symptoms,not a disease but in medical term its called EDEMA

well if kidney disease/DVT/gout has been already excluded,then one should

give attention to heart disease or lungs(depends upon symptoms,if there is any)some certain liver diseases like Liver cirrhosis.

well DIURETIC is always helpful in Edema,

you need diuretic which can increase salt excretion from body like indapamide (Lozol) and metolazone (Zaroxolyn) furasemide(lasix)


i hope i have been able to help you in this issue,

ask ,if you need more clarification/info.

please Accept if you feel it was satisfactory

Best Regards

dr.sajid Nomani

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