Severe Lower Leg Swelling Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your severe lower leg swelling symptoms, including 6 causes and common questions.

Severe Lower Leg Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe lower leg swelling

Contents

  1. 6 Possible Severe Lower Leg Swelling Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

6 Possible Severe Lower Leg Swelling Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced severe lower leg swelling. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterized by a rapid rate and irregular rhythm that feels like the heart is quivering. It can lead to chest discomfort, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and the formation of blood clots, which can cause...

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Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layers of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the feet, lower legs, and face.

The condition can develop if Staphylococcus bacteria enter broken skin through a cut, scrape, or existing skin infection such as impetigo or eczema.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system, as from corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or with impaired circulation from diabetes or any vascular disease.

Symptoms arise somewhat gradually and include sore, reddened skin.

If not treated, the infection can become severe, form pus, and destroy the tissue around it. In rare cases, the infection can cause blood poisoning or meningitis.

Symptom of severe pain, fever, cold sweats, and fast heartbeat should be seen immediately by a medical provider.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, keeping the wound clean, and sometimes surgery to remove any dead tissue. Cellulitis often recurs, so it is important to treat any underlying conditions and improve the immune system with rest and good nutrition.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain

Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis: facial redness, area of skin redness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Nephrotic syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome is a disorder of the kidneys that results in too much protein excreted into your urine. It is usually associated with damaged kidneys specifically damage to the kidneys' filters, called glomeruli.

Kidney damage and nephrotic syndrome primarily include albuminur...

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Severe Lower Leg Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe lower leg swelling

Congestive heart failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is no longer able to effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure can affect the right side, left side, or both sides of the heart. It can be subcategorized as "heart failure with preserved ejection f...

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Lymphangitis

Lymphangitis is a condition resulting in inflamed lymphatic vessels due to an infection. The lymphatic system runs throughout the body and consists of both nodes and these vessels. The nodes produce lymph — the clear fluid that bathes and nourishes the organs and other tissues — while the vessels cir...

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Right heart failure (cor pulmonale)

Acute cor pulmonale is also called acute right-sided heart failure and acute RHF. It is the sudden failure of the right ventricle of the heart.

The right ventricle pumps blood out of the heart, into the pulmonary artery, and into the lungs. If the pulmonary artery is blocked, the right ventricle will quickly become overworked and in danger of shutting down. A blood clot, called an embolism, or plaque lining this artery can suddenly cut off blood flow from the heart into the lungs.

Risk factors for acute cor pulmonale include surgery, obesity, smoking, and prolonged immobility. All of these leave the person prone to blood clots and/or plaque in the arteries.

Symptoms include sudden chest pain with rapid heartbeat, pale skin, cold sweat, shortness of breath, and coughing, sometimes with blood.

Acute cor pulmonale is a life-threatening medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, blood tests, echocardiogram, and chest x-ray.

Treatment involves oxygen, diuretics, blood-thinning and clot-dissolving medications, and sometimes surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath on exertion, wheezing, decreased exercise tolerance

Symptoms that never occur with right heart failure (cor pulmonale): severe chest pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Severe Lower Leg Swelling

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • What is your body mass?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe lower leg swelling. These questions are also covered.

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Severe Lower Leg Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced severe lower leg swelling have also experienced:

  • 4% Fatigue
  • 3% Lower Leg Pain
  • 3% Lower Back Pain

People who have experienced severe lower leg swelling were most often matched with:

  • 46% Atrial Fibrillation
  • 26% Cellulitis
  • 26% Nephrotic Syndrome

People who have experienced severe lower leg swelling had symptoms persist for:

  • 29% Over a month
  • 28% Less than a week
  • 22% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Severe Lower Leg Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your severe lower leg swelling