Everything You Should Know About Leg Swelling
Leg swelling can manifest in the ankles, thighs, feet, or calves as a result of injury, prolonged sitting or standing, or fluid buildup. It can also be a symptom of a more serious condition. Whether it is causing you discomfort or you are worried about its implications on your health, you should consider talking to a Morgantown leg swelling specialist about leg puffiness. Meanwhile, this article will delve into everything you need to know about this condition.
Common Causes of Leg Swelling
One of the major causes of leg swelling is fluid buildup, also known as peripheral edema, since it is caused by fluid retention in the leg tissues. Sometimes, this buildup can result from problems with either your lymphatic system, circulatory system, or kidneys. Common fluid buildup-related conditions include:
- Acute kidney failure
- Hormone therapy
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver cirrhosis
- Cardiomyopathy (problem with the heart muscle)
- Heart failure
Leg swelling can also be caused by leg injuries that lead to inflammation in your leg tissues or joints. Factors that can contribute to such inflammation include:
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Sprained ankle
- ACL injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Broken foot, leg, or ankle
- Knee bursitis
Mild Leg Swelling
Mild leg swelling, also known as edema, is mainly caused by prolonged sitting or standing. It is common in people who are either pregnant or obese but can happen to anyone. Fortunately, it is not usually a cause for concern, and you can remedy it by reducing the amount of salt in your diet, elevating your legs, doing ankle rolls, or simply going for a walk.
Persistent or Severe Leg Swelling
If your leg swelling is persistent, affects both legs, and comes accompanied by other symptoms, you should schedule a consultation with a specialist. Leg pain that is severe and prolonged can be a sign of more serious conditions like:
1. Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a health condition that involves the formation of blood clots in the veins, especially in the thighs, lower leg, or pelvis. Other symptoms of DVT include:
- Inflammation in one leg
- Enlarged veins closer to the skin’s surface
- Pain or tenderness in the swollen leg
DVT is a very serious condition that could lead to an aneurysm if not treated early, and this can be deadly. Talk to your doctor immediately if you notice these signs.
2. Heart, Liver, and Kidney Disease
If you suffer from liver disease, congestive heart disease, or kidney failure, you might notice new or persistent swelling in your legs due to fluid buildup in the legs. This is your cue to book a consultation with your doctor immediately.
Lymphedema usually occurs as a result of the abnormal functioning of your body’s lymph nodes, causing swelling on either one or more of your limbs. The swelling tends to range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other uncomfortable symptoms.
Mild leg swelling is rarely a cause for concern, and you can easily remedy it at home. However, when leg swelling is painful, persistent, and accompanied by other symptoms, it could indicate that something is wrong. If you are worried about this last scenario, contact Dr. Carol White, a vein specialist at the Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure and Clear Ink, PLLC. You can book a consultation online or call her West Virginia and Morgantown office today.