Although a swollen ankle can be a common symptom associated with standing or walking for a long time that may not be serious, there are many other causes for this problem, including certain medications, diseases, pregnancy, ankle injury, infections, blood clot and vein problems, as specified by WebMD. Diseases associated with the heart, kidney or liver can cause ankles to become swollen due to an accumulation of fluid, which is called edema.
Besides causing ankles to swell, the feet and leg areas may also be affected with edema, as reported by MedicineNet. Vein insufficiency and obesity can also cause edema of the lower extremities. Other causes for swollen ankles are sprains, strains and arthritis. Certain medications, such as calcium channel blockers, diabetes medications and antidepressants, can produce the side effect edema, as explained by WebMD.
Because there are so many possible causes for swollen ankles, doctors need to check for other symptoms to diagnose and treat the underlying condition responsible for the symptoms. For example, if it is a congenital heart defect, some other symptoms besides swollen ankles associated with this condition are shortness of breath and fatigue, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Accordingly, the heart defect must be treated to relieve the symptoms. Similarly, underlying conditions need to be treated to address the symptom of ankle swelling.