Most instances of swollen feet and ankles are remedied by treating the medical condition that causes them, according to MedicineNet. Proper treatment of swollen feet and ankles may include elevating the feet above the heart or medications to treat an underlying condition.
Swelling of the feet and ankles can be brought on by a variety of underlying medical conditions, including edema, pregnancy, infections, gout and blood clots, according to MedicineNet. Prolonged sitting, walking or standing throughout the day creates a higher risk for swelling. Foot or ankle trauma, such as a sprain or fracture, may also be the cause.
Foot and ankle swelling occurs when there is an increase of tissue fluid or inflammatory cells, states MedicineNet. Chronic disease, such as heart, liver or kidney disease, can cause swelling by changing fluid mobilization in the body. Some medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, hormones, diabetic medications and calcium channel blockers, cause water retention, which may lead to swelling.
Symptoms include an increase in the diameter of the foot and ankle, change in coloration or texture of the skin, ulceration and pus discharge, reports MedicineNet. Cases of ulceration may potentially lead to infection and death. Swelling can be prevented in many cases. Proper diet, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are all effective in reducing fluid retention and improving circulation. Additionally, reduce consumption of alcohol and nicotine products, and examine the possible side effects of any medications that may be the cause.