5 Causes of Leg Swelling

Leg swelling results from inflammation or fluid buildup. Fluid accumulation happens when your leg tissues or blood vessels hold more fluid than usual. Medical conditions, standing on your feet for prolonged periods, or being overweight can lead to fluid buildup. Inflammation happens when your leg tissues are irritated. Fractures, tendon ruptures or tears, and conditions like arthritis can lead to inflammation. Leg swelling can heal independently or require medical care. Your El Paso Desert West Vein & Surgery Center specialist treats your leg swelling based on the cause. There are many conditions that cause leg swelling, including:

1. Vein conditions

Varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency can cause leg swelling. These issues develop when you are the valves in your vein legs become weak, making blood not flow back to your heart. Blood collects and pools in your veins, leading to leg swelling. These conditions can also cause skin discoloration, sores, dry and cracked skin, and achy legs. Deep vein thrombosis, a problem where a blood clot forms in your leg vein, can also lead to leg swelling.

2. Kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease occurs when your kidneys do not function normally. It develops when your kidneys do not filter water and waste material from your blood, making fluid gather in your body. Fluid accumulation can cause swelling in your arms and legs. Chronic kidney diseases may also lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, too much thirst, bruising, and bleeding. Acute kidney failure can also cause leg swelling but often happens when you have other issues like diabetes.

3. Pregnancy

In the third trimester of pregnancy, your baby exacts pressure on your leg veins. The pressure slows blood circulation, leading to fluid build and mild leg swelling. Leg swelling during pregnancy can also indicate a severe condition known as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can include symptoms like swelling, especially around the eyes, headache, and vision changes. If you experience leg swelling and shortness of breath soon after delivery, consult your doctor. You could be having peripartum cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure.

4. Infection or wound

If you have a cut, scrape, or serious wound in your leg, you might experience swelling. Swelling happens because your body rushes fluid and white blood cells to the injured region. If your leg swelling lasts more than two weeks, seek medical care. If your wound becomes infected, you can have more swelling. Consult your doctor if your swelling is accompanied by pus, severe pain, and fever.

5. Injuries

Injuries to your legs, like strains, sprains, and fractures, can cause swelling. Swelling is a body’s natural response to the injury. Fluid and white blood cells move to the injured area, and your body releases chemicals to help you heal. Cellulitis, a severe infection where bacteria like streptococcus get in through a crack in your skin, can also cause leg swelling. It mostly happens in your lower leg. Other symptoms of cellulitis include tenderness, pain, fever, red spots, and dimpled skin.

Leg swelling results from inflammation or fluid buildup. It results from many aspects, including vein issues, kidney problems, infections, wounds, pregnancy, and injuries. Schedule an appointment at Desert West Vein & Surgery Center for leg swelling treatment to relieve discomfort. 

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