If you have noticed that your ankle is swelling, there are quite a few things that could be causing it. It is important to note the common causes for a swollen ankle so you know if you just need ice and rest or if you should seek medical treatment. Here are some of the more common causes for having a swollen ankle.
You Have Arthritis
Swelling of the ankles is a common occurrence when you have arthritis. Even if recently you only knew you had arthritis in your hands or other parts of your body, that doesn't mean this inflammation can't also occur in your ankle joint. Arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, which can then lead to discomfort and swelling. For arthritis-related swelling, taking an anti-inflammatory medication plus some ice and rest is usually the best way to treat it.
You Had a Recent Trauma
Have you had a trauma recently to the foot or ankle? If so, it might be causing the swelling. This doesn't always occur immediately after the incident, so even if you accidentally sprained your foot during a fall last night, you may not notice the swelling of the ankle until this morning. Common traumas that will cause ankle swelling include sprains, fractures, and torn tendons. With a fracture, you should get medical attention, but the other traumas don't typically require seeing a doctor. However, if the swelling does not go down, a trip to your doctor is usually a good idea.
There Is a Foot Infection
Believe it or not, infections in your feet or toes can actually spread to other areas of your foot, causing both your foot and your ankle to swell up. For example, if you have discoloration of one of your toenails and it has some fluid leakage and a bad smell, this toenail might be infected. Without proper treatment, the infection can spread out and cause some swelling of your ankle. Also be careful with seemingly minor infections like athlete's foot, which can also spread to your ankle and cause some swelling. In both cases, you should seek help from a doctor.
It is From a Medical Condition
There are also some different medical conditions that tend to cause swelling of the ankles. For example, if you have diabetes, this can cause a lot of foot and ankle problems. You can also have a swollen ankle from high blood pressure or from being pregnant.
If you have any doubt about why your ankle is swollen, call a foot and ankle doctor to have it looked at.