Many reasons can precipitate swelling in your ankle. It is really important to know if this is an acute episode or it is a secondary to a slow progressive process. In older individuals and those who have recently undergone surgeries, swollen lower extremities are commonly due to fluid overload and having a blood clot in the leg. In fact, blood clots are very common in the calf, thigh, or even in the pelvis. People who have been bed-ridden, on long plane rides, or just being immobile for an extensive length of time are at increased risk for forming a blood clot. Also, those who have a history of cancer, hormone therapy, history of blood clots in themselves or family will also have a higher risk for forming blood clots. Being a female or tobacco user is also at higher risks for blood clots. The only way to really find out whether or not you have a blood clot is by going to your doctor
for an exam, and if s/he suspects it a duplex ultrasound
of the lower extremities can be ordered. If the swelling is associated with joints in your foot, then you may have arthritic changes (i.e. gout
or arthritis). Venous insufficiency or varicosity can also lead to swollen feet. If both ankles are swollen equally, then this might indicate a systemic problem such as a heart or kidney failure. People with low protein (albumin) are also at increased risk for retaining fluid. Please visit a primary care provider to get an accurate diagnosis.