How Do You Diagnose the Cause of Leg Pain and Swelling?

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Physicians diagnose the cause of leg pain and swelling by conducting a physical exam, evaluating medical and family history of patients, and analyzing test results, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Physicians may also refer patients to a neurologist or sleep specialist if leg pain and swelling indicates a severe medical condition or restless leg syndrome.

Leg pain and swelling is caused by a variety of factors, such as inflammation, fluid buildup, skin infections or hormone imbalances, explains the Mayo Clinic. Physicians perform an analysis of medical history to determine if leg pain and swelling stems from hormone therapy, kidney diseases, pregnancy, blockages in the lymph system or overuse of pain relievers that can cause fluid to build up in the legs. Individuals with poor posture, varicose veins, or people who stand or sit for long periods of time are more at risk for pain and swelling in the legs.

Inflammation is a key cause of leg pain and swelling and often results from an injury, cysts, an infection or wound in or near the legs, or arthritis, according to Mayo Clinic. A broken foot, ankle or leg causes leg pain and swelling as well as knee bursitis, gout or sprained ankles.