Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why are my left foot and ankle swollen?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy are my left foot and ankle swollen?


should i be worried? i am a 23 year old female and the only medical issues i have is a cyst in my left knee and a neurologiocal disorder(i dont know what yet)and this morning i noticed my left foot and ankle is swollen up like a plum.i havent twisted,broken,sprained,strained,or done anything to make it so.should i be worried and should i go to a doctor?any ideas what it could be?


You should definitely go to see a doctor! Any sudden swelling of the leg, especially when it occurs on just one side and is not caused by a twist or a sprain, needs to be checked out right away. Swelling of one leg only, in the absence of any trauma, is very concerning for a deep vein thrombosis (or DVT), which is a blood clot in one of the big veins in the leg, leading to backing up of pressure and, consequently, swelling. Deep vein thrombosis is more common in those who have recently been immobile for a long period of time (for example sick in a hospital bed, or on a long transoceanic airline flight). It is also more common in those who smoke, who take oral contraceptive pills, and in those with certain genetic or family predisposition. Your primary care doctor or an emergency doctor will be able to look at this swelling and determine whether testing for a blood clot is needed. They can also examine the cyst in your knee and determine whether or not the swelling might be caused by that issue. Finally, they can rule out other more unlikely causes of leg swelling, such as a heart or kidney problem. Please speak with your doctor soon.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.