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"Should I be concerned about my swollen ankle?"

ZocdocAnswersShould I be concerned about my swollen ankle?


I was diagnosed with 'primary progressive' MS 20 years ago. Now it seems any medical complaint I have is chalked up to that. I have extensive left-side weakness, and well-controlled high blood pressure. I take no treatment for the MS, and minimal doses of Lozartin and Atenolol for the HBP. My left ankle and foot has gradually swelled over the last year and some days interferes with wearing shoes. I expect to hear "It's the MS - there's nothing we can do." Should I ask for a second opinion?


Swelling of the ankles should definitely be investigated! Although MS can definitely have multiple confusing symptoms that can often be mixed up with other medical problems, your doctors will not confuse leg swelling with MS! I recommend bringing this to the attention of your primary care doctor, who will be best qualified to help you figure out what is going on. Any time swelling occurs in just one leg rather than both, I am immediately concerned in ruling out a blood clot in one of the veins in the leg. Although this is usually a bit more acute in onset than what you describe, I think it is still an important consideration. Other things that can cause swelling in just one limb include problems with varicose veins. Of course, swelling also always raises the possibility of a heart problem. Although this is more common in people with swelling in both legs, in someone your age and with a history of high blood pressure, this is still a concern. Other symptoms worth mentioning to your doctor would be any chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty lying flat, or weight gain. You should also remark on any recent changes in medications, as these can be associated with swelling. Good luck!

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