The symptom of swelling, which develops in the leg, ankles and feet, can be related to different conditions, including heart, liver or kidney disease, age, obesity, infection, blood clots, certain medications, venous insufficiency and lymphedema, as noted by Healthline. Leg swelling can be associated with fluid buildup in the body or certain inflammatory conditions. Additionally, leg swelling can be painless or cause pain, such as in the case of inflammatory conditions.
When leg swelling is caused by fluid buildup, it is called edema. Certain factors that can cause edema are conditions, such as lymphedema, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, infection, liver cirrhosis and pregnancy. Some medications and prolonged sitting or standing can also lead to leg edema, notes Mayo Clinic.
Similarly, inflammatory conditions, including different types of arthritis, a broken or sprained leg and an Achilles tendon rupture, can also cause this symptom as well as pain. Cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection that affects the skin, can also cause swelling in a leg or foot.
Since there can be so many different causes for this symptom, a patient with a swollen leg or foot should see a doctor, especially if there are other symptoms that manifest. Some troubling symptoms are fevers, breathing problems, the swelling also feels warm, chest pain, or there is a history of liver or heart disease, as noted by the United States National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus.