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What could foot pain and swelling mean?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of foot pain and swelling include injuries, arthritis and various inflammatory conditions, according to Healthgrades. Foot swelling may also be caused by temporary situations, such as long car or airplane rides, pregnancy, menstrual cycles, surgery and long periods of standing.

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Full Answer

Injuries that are associated with swollen and painful feet include ankle sprains, broken foot or toe bones, burns, puncture wounds and stress fractures. Arthritic causes of this symptom are gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and pseudogout, notes Healthgrades. Inflammatory conditions that may cause foot pain and swelling are bursitis, cellulitis, an ingrown toenail, Lyme disease and tendonitis. Other inflammatory conditions associated with foot swelling include bone or nail infections, vasculitis, and an abscess.

Foot pain and swelling is rarely a sign of a life-threatening situation. However, if it is caused by an injury that is bleeding heavily or there is extreme tissue damage, call 911 immediately, advises Healthgrades. Seek emergency medical attention if symptoms like sudden chest pain or pressure, palpitations, high fever or a change in consciousness accompany the foot swelling. These could be symptoms of organ failure. Less serious additional symptoms that require a doctor's appointment are swelling and pain that is recurrent or doesn't go away.

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