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Dr. Tharun
Dr. Tharun, Urology Resident
Category: Urology
Satisfied Customers: 3682
Experience:  MBBS, DNB surgery and presently working as Urology resident towards the degree of Urologist.
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I am a 67 year old female in otherwise good health. I woke

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I am a 67 year old female in otherwise good health. I woke up yesterday morning and my ankles were swollen to at least twice the normal size. They are not painful, but scary. I do not have an infection that I am aware of, but afraid this could be kidney related. Can you advise me regarding this? Or recommend another specialist?

Has it reduced today?

How is your urine output?

Has it happened before?

Is there any redness over the ankles?

Did you start any recent medications or do you take regular medications ?

Are you diabetic ?

Any swelling in the hands or face?

Any breathlessness?

Did you walk a lot recently?

Any abdominal pain you have ?

Please let me know

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
This has never happened before. I'm having normal painless urine. I did stand a lot at a wedding but I'm not inactive normally. I do not see any redness. By the way the left ankle is bigger than the right.
Not diabetic.
I'm not on any meds
No breathlessness.
No abdominal pain

I'm just baffled.
HI Micki,

Kidney problems can give rise to swelling , but it is usually associated with swelling all over the body/ face and decreased urine production. You don't have any of these.
The swollen ankles can happen due to local inflammation/ infection , but it is usually associated with some pain and redness which you don't have. So chances of infection are less but cannot be ruled out.
Certain drugs can cause swelling of the legs but that is not the case here.

Excessive walking or standing for long periods can cause swelling of the ankles.
Since you have a recent history of standing for long time, this can be culprit here. Standing can cause inflammatory changes due to high venous pressure and this can cause swelling to appear after some time. This is usually temporary and will resolve gradually.
Dilated veins (varicose veins) over the leg can also cause such swelling. So if you notice any dilated veins over your leg or thigh , you should see your doctor who can advise/ treat accordingly.If not it must be due to the standing episode.

In that case rest and elevation of the legs will take care of the issue. It will be better to raise the foot end of the bed on blocks , so that legs remain above the heart level while sleeping.This will hasten the recovery. You can also try cold compresses over the swelling which will be helpful.
If you notice any redness, pain or fever you should see your doctor immediately. If the swelling refuses to go with these measures, you should consult your doctor.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Come back anytime and I’d be glad to help.


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