ZocdocAnswersWhy is my right leg swelling from my knee to anlkle?

Question

Why is my right leg swelling from my knee to anlkle?

I am a 38 yo male that has been doing hardwood flooring for 12 years. I have ongoing bursitis in my knee. But have noticed lately my right leg and ankle have been swelling and some skin redness on leg. I am 6ft 220lbs and I am a smoker. I am adopted but my biological father has history of heart problems. Should I be concerned about congestive heart failure?

Answer

From your description, you may have a unilateral leg swelling and I recommend you make an appointment with your primary care doctor to be examined. Some of the causes of unilateral leg swelling that are of concern are deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and cellulitis. DVTs are blood clots that form in the veins which block the flow of blood which can lead to swelling or edema. DVT's are concerning because these clots can travel and migrate to the lung which can be life threatening because it prevents good oxygenation. The risk factors for developing a pulmonary embolus are smoking, obesity, immobility, and being female. You should consider stopping to smoke. Another possibility is cellulitis, which is infection of the skin. It can cause one sided swelling and cause redness in the surrounding area. It is usually warm to touch and demarcated. You should draw a line around it to see if it is spreading. You could potential have had a cut or abrasion in your field of work which cause have lead to cellulitis. Congestive heart failure can cause leg swelling but it is usually in both legs. Liver disease can also cause leg swelling but it is usually both legs. Again, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor to make it checked out.

This answer 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 or (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.