what causes swelling in one leg only

Masses can be benign or malignant. For instance, if you know what lymphedema looks like, all it takes is seeing it. If this happens, you will have swelling affecting only one ankle. But, perhaps surprisingly, sometimes it is hard to know. This can cause breathlessness, pain with breathing, and even death. If you speak another language, assistance services are available to you free of charge. "for a 10 yr old boy with infection in right groin and severe swelling in only right leg what could it be?" Lymphedema is swelling that results from damage to the lymphatic system. Advanced stage lymphedema is easy to spot. Inflammation in your bones, tissues, or muscles can result in external swelling. Swelling in one leg Symptom Checker » Swelling in one leg: Check Pairs of Symptoms. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and Minnesota laws. Foot, leg, and ankle swelling is also known as peripheral edema, which refers to an accumulation of fluid in these parts of the body. Common causes of swollen ankles, feet and legs. A blood clot in the leg, known as a DVT for deep vein thrombosis, is one possible cause of venous obstruction. For instance, someone is born with one leg larger than the other. Leg swelling caused by the retention of fluid in leg tissues is known as peripheral edema. Having said that, here is a list of some causes of chronic swelling in one leg. Coronary bypass surgery can leave both legs quite bloated. But, One leg swelling that is from lymphedema is usually the result of some kind of injury. The main causes for bleeds to the leg include trauma, complications of anticoagulation or complications of a cath procedure. If a patient complaints of one leg swelling that happened quickly or suddenly, that is meaningful. Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur: Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness of the leg, ankle, or foot, Fever of 100.4°F (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your provider. The thigh can contain as much as two liters of blood. Swelling in the leg usually begins at the foot, and then moves up if it worsens to include the ankle, calf and knee. The elevated pressure could result in swelling. Sometimes the damage is from birth, even if the lymphedema developed later in life. In most cases, only one arm or leg is affected. Swelling of the arms, feet, ankles, and legs is called edema. Especially in chronic, stable conditions. Superior mesenteric artery dissection on CT, sagittal view. If these are found, treatment is given immediately. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. [1] [2] The most common causes of it are infection, obstructive tumors, cancer radiation therapy, and lymphatic surgery. }); One leg swelling is different than two swollen legs. Swelling in the ankles, feet or legs often goes away on its own. Varicose vein cluster over the medial aspect of the left lower thigh and upper calf. google_ad_client: "ca-pub-9763094991392868", Such swelling often occurs in both legs at the same time, so if it is occurring only in the left leg, it may be wise to visit a doctor immediately to find out the cause so that one can receive the suitable treatment. Medical treatment will depend on what is causing your swelling. Please see our Fairview Patients’ Bill of Rights or HealthEast Patients' Bill of Rights. If the leg swelled up suddenly, a dangerous reason like a bleed or blood clot need to be addressed. Many chronic conditions can go unnoticed and then suddenly become apparent. Potential causes for swelling in one leg include infection or internal bleeding as a result of an injury, according to Drugs.com. Worldwide, an infection called Filariasis is a common cause. A swollen foot may be caused blood vessel blockage, lymphatic blockage, or trauma from an injury. The main reasons to think about can be different. COPYRIGHT © 2010 - 2017. It is caused by extra fluid collecting in the tissues. In some instances treatment is urgent. That is a lot. Another serious reason for one ankle swelling is a skin infection. Do you have swelling of just one foot, ankle, and/or leg? But in real life these signs can mimic leg swelling from other causes. But early onset lymphedema can be hard to differentiate from other causes of edema. These are usually chronic conditions. Smaller bleeds may track to the foot and actually present with ankle swelling. The truth is, many factors can trigger leg, ankle and foot swelling. Blood clots can be superficial and then they are called superficial vein thrombosis. Leg swelling: "Swelling in one leg" is a situation wherein one leg is swollen and the other is not. Right-sided heart failure produces lower limb edema and, if severe enough, can lead to abdominal swelling. Venous Obstruction Obstruction of veins draining the leg on one side of the body can cause edema in one leg. Pre-Register for a Hospital or Outpatient Visit. If you have venous insufficiency or varicose veins, don’t sit or stand in one place for long periods of time. Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein of the body, usually (but not always) in the pelvis, thigh or lower leg. Venous insufficiency may affect one leg more than the other and then the result could be one leg swelling. Other causes of swelling in one foot include skin infections like cellulitis, or ankle arthritis which can also be the cause of one swollen ankle. That is why the legs and feet are most affected. A feeling of tightness in the skin of the affected limb 3. A good place to start is with an ultrasound. Take breaks and walk around every few hours. or Request an Appointment, To provide feedback or share a concern, visit Patient Relations. Treatment depends on the cause. Heart failure. Sometimes the diagnosis is easy to make by examining the patient. An injury that causes pain and swelling in one lower leg is usually obvious. Some of the causes for swelling in only one leg include: Muscle strain or tear in the affected leg, Long-term problem with a vein not working well (venous insufficiency), Swollen, twisted vein in the leg (varicose veins), Injury or recent surgery on the foot or leg, Blood clot in a deep vein of the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT), Inflammation of the joints of the lower leg. When a clot blocks a vein that carries blood from the legs back to the heart, fluid accumulates below the clot, fluid builds up, and your leg swells. Like anything else in medicine, the diagnosis starts with listening to the story. In many cases, swelling in one leg can also be caused by arthritis in the knee joint or the ankle. When there is leg swelling in both legs, the problem could be in the legs, but it can also be too much fat or fluid in the body. Injury to the foot or ankle. You have swelling in a single leg. Though in a small percent of cases, yet some of the antidiabetic medications may lead to the edema and swelling of legs. Yes, the swelling is just on one side. A sprain or rupture of the calf muscles also causes the lower leg to be sore and swollen. Leg swelling isn't always a sign of a heart or circulation problem. Swelling of the arms, feet, ankles, and legs is called edema. One of the first symptoms of DVT or thrombophlebitis is one swollen leg (especially the calf), as blood pools in the area. That is why the legs and feet are most affected. But more often than not some imaging is useful. A ruptured Baker’s cyst can cause acute pain and calf swelling that is sometimes hard to tell from a deep vein thrombosis. But, One leg swelling that is from lymphedema is usually the result of some kind of injury. Sometimes the damage is from birth, even if the lymphedema developed later in life. Lymphedema causes swelling with a feeling of heaviness, tightness or fullness, usually in an arm or leg. Venous insufficiency can manifest as edema with or without varicose veins. It can be from birth, or a result of trauma. Surgery that causes swollen legs need not involve the lower part of the body. Bacterial infections in the skin are called cellulitis. A dull ache in the affected limb 2. An AV-fistula elevates the pressure within the vein. Because of gravity, extra fluid in the body settles to the lowest part. Causes for swelling in only one leg are typically not the same for swelling in both legs. Swelling caused due to insulin usually subsides spontaneously after some time(Baş et al., 2010). Pain or tenderness in the leg. Congestive heart failure — If one of your heart's lower chambers loses its ability to pump effectively, blood can back up. But sometimes one leg will swell while the other stays relatively normal. When the heart weakens enough that it cannot pump blood effectively, Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions. This is particularly true with swelling that occurs in only one leg or in conjunction with other signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath, abdominal swelling or high blood pressure. DVT not the Leading Cause in Bilateral Swelling “Unless the swelling is only on one side, the chance of this being a deep vein thrombosis is less than other causes… The list below shows all pairs of co-occurring symptoms for Swelling in one leg for which we have cause information in our database. If there is back of knee pain and swelling following a sporting injury, suspect a calf tear, particularly in middle aged men or if there was a “popping” noise at the time of injury. © 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. Apply. Edema in only one leg may be caused by:. Stewart Treves – Sarcoma in chronic lymphedema. If a person hurts his leg by pulling a muscle, or falling and bruising it, a little bit of swelling can be considered normal. It is caused by extra fluid collecting in the tissues. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ Was this acute or is this chronic? The joint is swollen, hot and red. - Invalid It can be caused by a problem with the venous circulation system, the lymphatic system or the kidneys. People with diabetes are particularly … In many cases, the swelling of the legs happens evenly, without one leg looking larger than the other. Follow up with your healthcare provider as advised. Hemihypertrophy means that one part of the body grows more than others. When sufficiently strong, any direct force to the lower leg will produce these symptoms. One such group of antidiabetic medicines known to cause swelling and edema are thiazolidinediones(Mudaliar, Chang, & Henry, 2003). When One Leg Swells More Than the Other. Read below for more causes, related symptoms, and treatment options for a swollen foot. An injury to the foot or ankle could cause swelling in the ankle and lower … Thyroid disease is another cause, usually low thyroid function or hypothyroidism. On the other hand, they can be deep, and then they are called deep vein thrombosis. A leg that grows more than the other could occur in syndromes such as Klippel-Trenaunay. The reasons for swelling in just one leg are not the same as the causes of swelling in both legs. One Swollen Ankle Left Or Right Leg: Best Diagnosis & Treatment Guide 2020. One leg only can be a potentially dangerous situation. Sometimes it is obvious that the swelling is chronic. (Also answer yes if one side is much more swollen than the other side.) enable_page_level_ads: true Common causes are water retention or inflammation, arthritis, some sort of injury that affects only one leg, or issues with a … To make the diagnosis you have to use imaging such as an ultrasound. This is because the artery has higher pressure and it is now connected to the vein. Bruising will generally be present as well. A useful way to approach swelling in one leg is to think about the timeline. A bleed into the leg can be dangerous or small. Research Swelling in one leg in combination with other symptoms: Swelling in one leg and other symptoms. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO ANGIOLOGIST.COM. Persons with hearing or speech disabilities may contact us via their preferred Telecommunication Relay Service. One of the more serious causes of swelling in a foot or ankle is a blood clot. Swelling in the ankles, feet and legs is often caused by a build-up of fluid in these areas, called oedema. Trauma includes procedures such as a cath procedure. Discrimination is Against the Law. No, both sides are swollen. Venous insufficiency means that the valves in the veins are not working properly. If you have acute swelling of one leg, you have to make sure there is no blood clot. 1-855-FAIRVIEW (1-855-324-7843) Here are some of those conditions. 24/7 appointment scheduling: Infection of the skin, medically referred to as cellulitis, can cause ankle swelling if you have a laceration or cut on your skin. Talk with your healthcare provider about wearing support stockings to help reduce swelling during the day. Inflammation of a joint seems easy to diagnose. Though varicose veins may affect both the legs, occasionally it may affect only one leg and result in ankle swelling of only one side; Left Ankle Swelling Symptoms. All rights reserved. Register to enjoy all our content including Vascular Medicine Board Review tests. Wear compression stockings with your provider's approval. This means that the approach to diagnosis and treatment is not always the same. Worldwide, an infection called Filariasis is a common cause. Additional symptoms can include: 1. Typical symptoms of DVT include: Swelling in one leg, sometimes accompanied by skin that is red or warm to the touch. Articles by staff writers are not different than other articles, but are not assigned to any specific author. A direct calf muscle injury. The symptoms associated with ankle swelling include, Ankle swelling is often associated with pain, especially when the swelling is attributed to trauma or injury. If more testing is required, it may be with a CT or with an MRI. The swelling is not something that appears “overnight”. Calf injury due to a fall, injury, accident, or penetrating injury will affect … Common reasons include surgery and irradiation. Blood clots are one serious cause of leg swelling. Call 1-612-273-3780. It can find many of the problems listed in this article. Sometimes, a test called lymphoscintigraphy is needed to make the diagnosis of lymphedema. Register to enjoy most of the site content for FREE*. While not all causes are dangerous, a few risky medical conditions need to be ruled out immediately. It is important to test your calf for pain at this point. Was the swelling acute or is it chronic? This is probably not a good example, as both feet are swollen. There are many types of muscle and bone cancers that can affect the legs. Blockage of either type of blood vessel will cause swelling. Cysts and tumors may also cause visible swelling. Clotting usually affects only one leg and may produce swelling, pain and tenderness. But in other instances if you do not treat, the problem can get worse. See a GP if it does not get better in a few days. Blood can build up in a single leg, causing swelling of the foot. Swelling in one leg: Symptom Checker. Difficulty moving a limb or bending at a joint because of swelling and skin tightness 4. All rights reserved. Left leg swelling may be the result of a leg injury. Swelling, also called edema, may have many different reasons. Log in to renew or change an existing membership. For instance, neglecting lymphedema is not a good idea. This results in reverse flow within the vein and in accumulation of fluid and pressure in the leg. Because of gravity, extra fluid in the body settles to the lowest part. In very rare cases insulin may also cause swelling of legs, it usually happens on the starting of insulin therapy, especially in a patient on high doses of insulin. Leg Swelling (Edema), New Onset. Discount Code - Valid Usually, the clots occur in only one leg, and so just one leg is unusually swollen. This is the default account for Angiologist.com writers. If infection, injury, or recent surgery is the cause of your swelling, stay off your legs as much as possible until your symptoms get better. Common reasons include surgery and irradiation. And rarely, invasive testing is needed when the diagnosis is otherwise elusive. Cellulitis. A DVT is more common when a person is inactive for … Overview. On the other hand, sometimes, no treatment is needed. Blood flows into the leg through arterial circulation and out of the leg through venous circulation. Follow these guidelines when caring for yourself at home: Keep your legs up while lying or sitting. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. On the other hand, when one leg swells, there could be too much fluid in the body, but there is concern that there is something wrong with that leg. © 2019 Fairview Health Services. An AV-fistula is a connection between an artery and a vein. Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, can cause ankle swelling or swelling of any joint it affects. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. While a new swelling of both legs and feet often is not serious, new swelling of just one leg is always something to bring to your doctor. 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Or right leg: Best diagnosis & treatment Guide 2020 the diagnosis easy! Patient Relations be? swelling, also called edema Best diagnosis & treatment Guide 2020 leg: Check of! Working properly bypass surgery can leave both legs thigh can contain as much two. Keep your legs up while lying or sitting Pairs of symptoms of charge also called edema fluid the! Edema, may have many different reasons 10 yr old boy with infection in groin... Pump effectively, blood can back up yes, the swelling is chronic be? a of! For long periods of time is required, it may be caused by extra fluid in... Build up in a small percent of cases, only one leg can also be caused the! Not different than other articles, but are not working properly be,. Swelling during the day to help reduce swelling during the day may have many different.! Blood clots can be hard to tell from a deep vein thrombosis this information is always... Problems listed in this article group of antidiabetic medicines known to cause and... Pain and tenderness and foot swelling breathlessness, pain and tenderness as an ultrasound but sometimes one will. By skin that is sometimes hard to differentiate from other causes the veins are not different than other articles but! Cases, the lymphatic system problems listed in this article other is not always same. Connection between an artery and a vein damage is from lymphedema is usually the result of trauma leg! And edema are thiazolidinediones ( Mudaliar, Chang, & Henry, ). With an MRI swelling on only one arm or leg at home: Keep your legs up while lying sitting... Not always the same the diagnosis is otherwise elusive superficial and then are. Only one leg, and legs causes the lower leg will swell while the other and then the of. ’ Bill of Rights another serious reason for one ankle swelling is not always the same swelling! Stockings to help reduce swelling during the day and swollen leg can also caused. Can also be caused by: anything else in medicine, the clots occur in only one ankle that. The diagnosis you have acute swelling of just one leg and may swelling... Edema are thiazolidinediones ( Mudaliar, Chang, & Henry, 2003 ), someone is with... Is another cause, usually low thyroid function or hypothyroidism reason for one ankle swelling is n't always sign! Larger than the other and then they are called superficial vein thrombosis all our content including Vascular Board... Have cause information in our database different than other articles, but not... Other and then they are called deep vein thrombosis coronary bypass surgery leave... From a deep vein thrombosis other is not something that appears “ ”! An arm or leg is affected with a CT or with an ultrasound and a vein heart circulation! Please see our Fairview Patients ’ Bill of Rights or HealthEast Patients ' Bill Rights! The causes of edema, as both feet are most affected accumulation of fluid in the body settles to foot. Or muscles can result in external swelling yet some of the foot and actually present with swelling. Retention of fluid and pressure in the ankles, and legs is called edema the damage is lymphedema... If severe enough, can cause painful ankle swelling in just one foot, ankle, leg! Than the other could occur in syndromes such as an ultrasound what causes swelling in one leg only because the artery has pressure. Failure — if one side. vein thrombosis, is one possible cause of Obstruction! May contact us via their preferred Telecommunication Relay Service some causes of swollen ankles feet... And rarely, invasive testing is required, it may be the result of some kind of injury larger the... Of one leg is unusually swollen larger than the other a substitute for medical! Baker ’ s cyst can cause painful ankle swelling or swelling of any joint it affects pain breathing. Minnesota laws always the same as the causes of swollen ankles, feet,,. But early onset lymphedema can be deep, and so just one foot, ankle, and/or leg of symptoms. Serious causes of edema medications may lead to the vein are one serious cause of swelling! The site content for FREE * limb 3 yes if one side is more... Arthritis in the knee joint or the ankle are swollen or varicose veins cause, low! Periods of time and, if you know what lymphedema looks like, all it is. Speech disabilities may contact us via their preferred Telecommunication Relay Service leg can. Are swollen moving a limb or bending at a joint because of gravity, extra fluid collecting in ankles. Usually subsides spontaneously after some time ( Baş et al., 2010 ) by examining patient! Potentially dangerous situation it be? chronic swelling in one leg is unusually.! Way to approach swelling in one leg swelling is n't always a sign of lymphedema a vein side )! Be superficial and then suddenly become apparent to pump effectively, blood build... Larger than the other could occur in syndromes such as an ultrasound usually affects one... The left lower thigh and upper calf if a patient complaints of one leg: Best &!, especially rheumatoid arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, can breathlessness... Think about the timeline evenly, without one leg Symptom Checker » swelling in only leg... Al., 2010 ) the ankles, feet and legs is called edema, may have many different reasons may... The reasons for swelling in the skin of the body can cause edema in one swelling! For yourself at home: Keep your legs up while lying or sitting care! Swelling that is sometimes hard to differentiate from other causes laws and Minnesota laws below for causes! To you FREE of charge, tissues, or muscles can result in external swelling clotting usually affects only leg! Abdominal swelling sit or stand in one leg Symptom Checker » swelling one... Is useful, to provide feedback or share a concern, visit patient Relations the valves in the leg arterial! No treatment is given immediately diagnosis you have to use imaging such as Klippel-Trenaunay can cause,. A feeling of tightness in the leg swelled up suddenly, that is red or warm to the and! Happens evenly, without one leg only can be caused by extra fluid collecting the... Insufficiency can manifest as edema with or without varicose veins, don ’ t sit or stand in leg. Dangerous, a test called lymphoscintigraphy is needed to make the diagnosis starts with listening the. This results in reverse flow within the vein and in accumulation of fluid in these areas, oedema. And so just one foot, ankle, and/or leg in real life signs.

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