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Unexplained Swelling of Left Foot/Ankle
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Unexplained Swelling of Left Foot/Ankle

For the past 6 weeks my left foot and ankle have been extremely swollen - exteme edema on the outside ankle and foot. My left calf is starting to get larger than my right..I am a 29 yr old female, 135 lbs, 5'6 and have been working out 4-5 times a week for the past 2 years. I work as a product developer- mainly sitting in front of a computer. The swelling started suddenly while I was at work, with no warning and no injury. I've had 2 sets of x-rays - no fractures- a bone scan which was negative, a sonogram which ruled out DVT and an MRI which revealed a very small ganglion cyst under a tendon on the top of my foot. The specialist I saw for the cyst would not treat me- he told me the swelling was NOT caused by the cyst & he couldn't excise it until the swelling was resolved. The orthopaedic docs have ruled out stress fracture and tendonitis. My blood work ups were normal.. no one seems to know what's going on, and then they pass me on to another specialist. Now I'm supposed to see a rheumatologist (1st appt avail was 7/19), but I don't have any pronounced joint pain or loss of mobility. The only time I have pain is when I point my toe down- the front of my lower leg, ankle & foot hurts. Pushing down w/ my toe does not hurt. Ibuprofen doesn't help the swelling- nor do soaks, and compression works as long as I wear it- the second it comes off- the swelling rebounds. Does anyone have any ideas about what's going on with me?  
Sandi G
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Sandi:

Sorry to hear about your foot.  Frankly, I am not sure what is going on.  Is the edema bad? Is it pitting edema?  The pain is likely due to the swelling.  Is there a possibility of an infection somewhere on the foot?  Probably not or you would have noticed some warmth in the area with some redness.  Are there swollen lymph nodes in the groin area?  Do you have cats?  Just some things to think about.  I don't think this is neurological.

Sincerely,

CCf Neuro MD
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi....I have a foot drop on my left ankle and because of it , I
have a swelling whenever I'm on it for any length of time...or if the weather is unusually warm.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you sooo much for commenting!

What is a foot drop and what is the cause of it? I need to fix it fast because I'm getting married in Sept.- can't get any shoes on my left foot other than Birkies.. Any information would be appreciated- my PCP seems to be at wits end- he has no advice left to give me.
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Avatar_n_tn
What is the situation with your heart?  Have they checked it out?  Sometimes, with certain heart or vascular conditions of your legs, you can get edema of your foot/ankle.  I was having really big trouble with that at one point, was put on an antibiotic for something else and "poof" the problem disappeared.  Would your doc be willing to put you on a light short-term antibiotic to see if it would help?
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Avatar_n_tn
It's something worth looking into. I'll ask him about it at my next appointment. My blood pressure was somewhat low(105/65)when I had my physical in May. Thanks for a fresh perspective!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 24 and in florida..I have been having the same symptoms in my left foot and calf..I do not have insurance and haven't been to a doctor yet..it has been 6 weeks as well for me.  You have given me alot to think about.  I will definitely seek a doctors diagnosis since it could be much more than a tendon injury as I assumed, thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 34 and ruptured a disc (L5S1 area) that took 6 months to find. I have the swelling/pain in left foot/ankle as well . They are sympotms of a disease called RSD-Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy-which doctors are unaware of (most of the time). One doctor that I saw, was the head of a Neurology dept., told me I was crazy because of his tests showing nothing. Talk w/your doctor and research RSD (together if possible to get an understanding of RSD). I hope things turn out ok and congrats on your upcoming nuptuals.
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Avatar_n_tn
i am recently having the same problem in my right foot.  i went on a long hike this weekend and had no swelling in my foot until a day later and have absolutely no pain in my ankle.  i didnt get bit by anything, feel fine in general and didnt sprain my ankle to my knowledge.  i just got off the phone with a good friend who is an md and he thought that some kind of blockage or disruption of lymph flow is most likely.  very hard to diagnose i think.  i have been taking ibuprofen to no avail all week.  please post to this if you have any insight or get a diagnosis on your own problem at some point.  i will be seeing a doctor next week if my problem is not resolving.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recently been diagnosed with brown sequard syndrone and have just noticed the EXACT same problem with my left foot & calf  which is the one I get spasm's in also, I do'nt have an answer or explanation (it ussually when I spend alot of time at the keyboard not using it). No wieght on it etc. All I can suggest for this is sleeping or resting with it elavated above the hip, ice packs help, and so does massage. Best wishes!!
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A related discussion, antibiotics for swelling? was started.
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A related discussion, sitting at the computer was started.
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A related discussion, Swollen left foot/ankle was started.
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A related discussion, unexplained left foot/ankle swelling was started.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have same same problem and been through the same tests with no results. Mine has been going on for 4 years. They recently thought it was lymphadema and tried treatment but it didn't help I hope u have better luck than I have.
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A related discussion, left ankle swelling/uncomfortable  when sitting was started.
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