If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site

Unraveling the Mystery of Cankles and How to Deal With Them

Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:00

The ankle, a vital joint in our body, plays a significant role in our movements and stability. However, some individuals may notice that their ankles are large or swollen, raising concerns. In most cases, the size and shape of our ankles are determined by genetics, and having larger ankles is not inherently unhealthy. However, certain health conditions can cause enlarged ankles, warranting attention and further investigation. One such condition is lipedema, a painful disorder where fat accumulates beneath the skin of the legs. Lipedema predominantly affects women, and its symptoms include easy bruising, sensitivity to pressure, and difficulty walking. Genetic factors and hormonal changes trigger this condition, and treatments involve dietary changes, exercise, and specialized therapy. Another condition that can lead to swollen ankles is lymphedema, which involves abnormal swelling due to a compromised lymphatic system. Damaged lymph nodes or cancer treatments can be contributing factors. Managing lymphedema includes gentle exercises, compression techniques, and massages. Furthermore, edema, or generalized swelling, can cause puffy ankles as can heat, venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease, medications, and pregnancy. For those seeking to reduce ankle swelling, lifestyle changes such as exercises, reducing sodium intake, elevating feet, and staying active can be beneficial. If you are generally concerned about the size of your ankles and they are causing you discomfort, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can examine them and provide you with relief options.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM of Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Bellaire and Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


Read more about Swelling of the Feet
Connect with us