ZocdocAnswersMy left foot is swollen just above my ankle, is this DVT?

Question

My left foot is swollen just above my ankle, is this DVT?

I injured this foot about 1 1/2 years ago,I have had severe pain in it for the passed week, I work in retail and have to stand for long periods of time. The swelling is localized to just above the ankle on the left foot, no-where else. Elevating it with an ice pack helps with the pain at night, but it hasn't went away since, and the swelling does not go down. I read online that this could either be DVT or a Sprain, but I don't have medical insurance, and need to find out if I should rush to the ER and pay the huge bill, or just splint it and wrap it myself for a sprain ?

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your symptoms. It is not possible to provide an accurate diagnosis without fully reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam. Despite your insurance issues, I strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician who can help determine the next best step in management. A deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when blood pools in the venous system of the legs in a patient with a hypercoagulable state. Examples of hypercoagulable states include prolonged immobilization (such as after surgery), long plane flights, trauma, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. DVTs often lead to pain and swelling in the involved leg. They are typically diagnosed with an ultrasound study, and therapy typically includes a prolonged course of anticoagulation. As you mentioned, trauma to this area could have led to strain of the cartilage that stabilizes the joint. This can lead to swelling and pain, and continued use of the joint may perpetuate these symptoms. At this point, I recommend you schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. It will be necessary to thoroughly examine the affected area to determine the next best course of action, and you may require additional studies to obtain a diagnosis.

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.