Swelling of the lower leg can be caused by several different factors that include standing for extended lengths of time, sitting in the same position for long periods, blood pressure medicines and steroids, explains Healthline. Being overweight can also cause lower leg swelling.
Lower leg swelling can occur due to a variety of medical conditions that include kidney failure, heart failure, deep vein thrombosis and cirrhosis of the liver, explains Mayo Clinic. Inflammatory conditions that cause lower leg swelling include broken ankles or feet, bursitis of the knee, and rheumatoid arthritis. Individuals with osteoarthritis, a condition in which the joints break down, may also experience lower leg swelling.
In many cases, swollen lower legs and ankles are caused by mild issues that are not considered dangerous. However, it is important for individuals with severe or chronic swelling to seek medical attention, according to WebMD. Chronic swelling can indicate lymphedema, a serious condition in which lymphatic fluid builds up in the leg tissues. Lymph fluid is a natural bodily substance that filters through the lymph glands of the body and aids in fighting bacteria and viruses. When the lymph fluid builds up inside the body, this can indicate a blockage in the lymph nodes. Left untreated, lymphedema can cause infections and prevent the immune system from working as it should.