What are the Symptoms of Leg Swelling?

What are the Symptoms of Leg Swelling?

Leg swelling, also known as peripheral edema, is the accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the legs, leading to an abnormal increase in leg size. Symptoms of leg swelling can vary in severity and may include:

  1. Visible Swelling:
    • Observable enlargement or puffiness of the legs, ankles, feet, or calves.
  2. Skin Changes:
    • Skin over the affected area may appear stretched, shiny, or have a tight, glossy appearance.
    • Skin color may be pale, reddened, or discolored.
  3. Pitting Edema:
    • Pressing a finger against the swollen area leaves an indentation or “pit” that persists for some time before resolving.
  4. Pain or Discomfort:
    • Aching, throbbing, or a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the affected leg.
    • Pain may worsen with standing or walking for extended periods.
  5. Reduced Mobility or Flexibility:
    • Difficulty moving the leg due to the increased size and stiffness caused by the swelling.
  6. Warmth and Redness:
    • The affected area may feel warm to the touch and appear reddened.
  7. Skin Sensitivity:
    • Increased sensitivity or tenderness of the skin over the swollen area.
  8. Tightness of Clothing or Shoes:
    • Clothes, shoes, or socks may feel tight or constricting due to the swelling.
  9. Restricted Blood Flow:
    • Feeling of decreased blood circulation or numbness in the swollen area.
  10. Inability to Elevate the Leg:
    • Difficulty raising or elevating the leg due to the severity of the swelling.
  11. Increased Urination at Night (Nocturia):
    • Frequent urination during the night, which can be associated with fluid retention and leg swelling.
  12. Breathing Difficulties (in severe cases):
    • In severe cases, fluid retention and swelling may affect the lungs, leading to shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

Leg swelling can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Fluid Retention: Due to conditions like heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease, or venous insufficiency.
  • Inflammation: Resulting from injury, infection, or chronic conditions like arthritis.
  • Blood Clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis): A clot can block blood flow and cause swelling, pain, and redness in the affected leg.
  • Lymphedema: An abnormal buildup of lymphatic fluid in tissues, often occurring after lymph node removal or damage.

If you experience persistent or recurrent leg swelling, especially if accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, or other concerning symptoms, seek immediate medical attention for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.

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