Emergency medicine practitioner Dr. Zachary Lutsky has served as a staff physician and an attending physician at high-traffic emergency departments in California, including Cedars-Sinai and the UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Zachary Lutsky possesses more than 20 years of experience treating patients with severe and acute symptoms.
Swollen ankles, like many other sudden onset symptoms, can signal an underlying medical emergency. A trip to the emergency room is in order if a swollen ankle indicates any of the following:
– Blood clot. If swelling is restricted to one leg and is accompanied by a mild fever or pain, a blood clot may be the reason. Blood clots that originate in the legs can travel through the bloodstream and cause a potentially fatal embolism.
– Kidney failure. Under-functioning kidneys can cause the body to retain fluid and trigger swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs. Other indications of kidney problems including weight gain and appetite changes.
– Infection. If the ankle swells after an injury, the swelling could be the result of a bacterial infection. Elderly patients may also be at risk of contracting septic arthritis, an internal infection, in the ankle joint. Tell-tale signs include tenderness, fever, and odor.