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How do you know if your swollen ankles and feet are caused by lymphedema?

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Lymphedema is a collection of lymphatic fluid in the tissues that can develop because of the absence of or problems with the lymph vessels or after the removal of lymph nodes. Lymph is a protein-rich fluid that normally travels along an extensive network of vessels and capillaries. It is filtered through the lymph nodes, which trap and destroy unwanted substances, such as bacteria. When there is a problem with the vessels or lymph nodes, however, the fluid's movement can be blocked. Left untreated, lymph buildup can impair wound healing and lead to infection and deformity. Lymphedema is common following radiation therapy or removal of the lymph nodes in patients with cancer. If you have undergone cancer treatment and experience swelling, see your doctor right away.

From: Swollen Ankles and Feet WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Swelling."

ArthritisToday.org: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

ArthritisToday.org: "Arthritis Treatment Timeline."

MedlinePlus: "Preeclampsia."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Sprained Ankle."

National Lymphedema Network: "What Is Lymphedema?"

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Chronic Venous Insufficiency."

Baylor College of Medicine: "Varicose Veins."

De Moines University Clinic: "Diabetic Foot Care."

USC Center for Vascular Care: "Varicose Veins and Venous Disease."

Yale University Cushing/Whitney Medical Library: "Heart Disease Symptoms."

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Congestive Heart Failure."

MedlinePlus: "Foot, Leg, and Ankle Swelling."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Swelling."

ArthritisToday.org: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

ArthritisToday.org: "Arthritis Treatment Timeline."

MedlinePlus: "Preeclampsia."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Sprained Ankle."

National Lymphedema Network: "What Is Lymphedema?"

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Chronic Venous Insufficiency."

Baylor College of Medicine: "Varicose Veins."

De Moines University Clinic: "Diabetic Foot Care."

USC Center for Vascular Care: "Varicose Veins and Venous Disease."

Yale University Cushing/Whitney Medical Library: "Heart Disease Symptoms."

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Congestive Heart Failure."

MedlinePlus: "Foot, Leg, and Ankle Swelling."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

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How do you know if your swollen ankles and feet are caused by venous insufficiency?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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