Why you should take leg swelling seriously

If you’re experiencing leg swelling in any part of your legs, it’s important to pay attention to the symptoms and seek medical attention. How do you know when leg swelling could indicate a more serious condition? Read on to learn more about the causes and when to seek medical attention.

Causes of leg swelling

Leg swelling can be caused by inflammation from injury, disease, arthritis or another inflammatory disorder. A sprained ankle or broken ankle, foot or leg, Achilles tendon rupture or ACL injury can all cause swelling. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and knee bursitis are other conditions that can cause leg swelling. Burns and skin infections are culprits as well.

Leg swelling can be caused by a fluid buildup from being overweight, inactive, sitting or standing for a long time or wearing tight pants. Pregnancy is another reason for fluid buildup that leads to leg swelling. Certain pain relievers or prescription medicines can cause leg swelling. Deep vein thrombosis, heart failure, pericarditis, acute kidney failure, cirrhosis and pulmonary hypertension, and chronic venous insufficiency are some of the major causes of fluid buildup that leads to leg swelling.

Seeking care

If your legs swell for no apparent reason, you should seek medical care right away. This is especially the case if the swelling is accompanied by unexplained leg pain, chest pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or other warning signs of a heart condition or blood clot in your lungs. If it’s related to a physical injury such as from a car accident, sports injury or a fall, seek immediate care. If the swelling is in one leg and is painful or it is accompanied by cool, pale skin, you need to seek immediate care as well.

If you have leg swelling that is not an emergency, it’s still important to make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible to diagnose the cause and treat it.

There are a number of vascular disorders that can cause leg swelling. If you have concerns about your vascular health, contact our office at (623) 258-3255 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zakhary.


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