Ankle swelling, often referred to as edema, refers to the collection of fluid in the spaces between the ankle joint. The condition can be attributed to a wide range of causes; however identification of the correct cause plays a crucial role in effective management of ankle swelling.
What Causes The Swelling Of Left Ankle?
The involvement of a single ankle joint is indicative of the fact that there is a localized problem and rules out the possibility of a systemic cause. Here are some common causes that may be responsible for left ankle swelling,
- Acute injury or trauma to the affected ankle joint. Twisting of the ankle joint especially while running or climbing stairs can result in an edema and swelling of the affected joint. Swelling can occur with or without fracture, with fracture resulting in a more long term edema in the joint
- Tendinitis is another cause of ankle swelling. Irritation of the tendons in the feet or inflammation in the fascia of the tendons may result in edema and swelling of the joint.
- Faulty footwear may also be responsible for localized swelling in the ankle joint
- Varicose veins, a condition affecting the peripheral venous system, associated with the failure of valves in the veins. This often results in edema in the ankle of the affected side. Though varicose veins may affect both the legs, occasionally it may affect only one leg and result in ankle swelling of only one side
Left Ankle Swelling Symptoms
The symptoms associated with ankle swelling include,
- Ankle swelling is often associated with pain, especially when the swelling is attributed to trauma or injury. The severity of pain may vary depend upon the nature of the injury and is often associated with any effort to move the leg
- Limited mobility is another feature associated with ankle swelling. Ankle swelling limits the range of movement of the ankle joint which in turn results in temporary disability.
- Severe prolonged ankle swelling may be associated with ulceration and itching in the affected area.
Treatment For Swollen Left Ankle And Foot
Considering that a single sided ankle swelling is not associated with a chronic systemic medical condition, the management of the condition can be done at home. However, it is crucial to diagnose the underlying cause for the swelling before treating it at home,
- Foot elevation is crucial in management of left ankle swelling. Keeping the foot elevated above the level of the heart, especially while sleeping or resting helps in draining the accumulated fluid and hastens recovery.
- Rest is another essential component. Rest the foot and avoid movement. This is turn would hasten healing.
- Calf muscle exercises help in draining venous blood from the lower extremities. This in turn hastens the process of healing.
- Finally analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs may be used for the management of pain and edema. Homeopathic drugs like Bryonia have also been found to be effective in the management of the condition.