Read below about swelling on the lower leg, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your swelling on the lower leg from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Swelling on the Lower Leg

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced swelling on the lower leg. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Cellulitis

    Facial cellulitis is a skin infection that typically comes from other parts of the face like the mouth or the sinuses and needs antibiotic treatment. Symptoms can be pain, redness, warmth and swelling of the affected area.

    Dependent on severity of infection

    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
  2. 2.Deep Vein Thrombosis

    Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.

    Curable with medication or surgery but may recur.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, thigh pain, upper leg swelling, calf pain, butt pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Lymphangitis

    The lymphatic system is a series of vessels, similar to the veins and arteries of the circulatory system, that carry fluid important for the function of the immune system. Lymphangitis is infection or inflammation of these lymphatic vessels.

    With treatment, the swelling may take weeks or months to resolve completely.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, fever, chills, painful lump in one side of the groin, groin redness
    Symptoms that always occur with lymphangitis:
    painful lump in one side of the groin
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  4. 4.Congestive Heart Failure

    Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a form of heart failure that causes fluid to back up into the lungs and other tissue. Symptoms include trouble breathing and edema (swelling of ankles, hands)

    This is a lifelong condition but symptoms can be managed.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough at night, shortness of breath on exertion
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Nephrotic Syndrome

    Nephrotic syndrome is caused by different disorders that damage the kidneys. This damage leads to the release of too much protein in the urine, causing the body to swell.

    Varies by cause of Nephrotic Syndrome

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, weight gain, bilateral leg swelling
    Symptoms that never occur with nephrotic syndrome:
    cut on the foot, recent cut or wound, swollen ankle, swelling of one leg
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Swelling on the Lower Leg Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swelling on the lower leg.

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  6. 6.Ankle Sprain

    Ankle ligaments, which connect bones to one another, stabilize the ankle joint. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments caused by a twisting motion of the joint.

    An uncomplicated ankle sprain should improve in 3-6 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one ankle, ankle pain from an injury, swollen ankle, bruised ankle, ankle twisting
    Symptoms that always occur with ankle sprain:
    pain in one ankle, ankle pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  7. 7.Shin Bruise

    A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises. Bruises of the shin are common given the location of the shin.

    Bruises will begin to heal over the course of a week

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    shin pain from an injury, shin injury, pain in one shin, shin swelling, shin bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with shin bruise:
    shin injury, shin pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Compartment Syndrome

    Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle compartment. It can lead to muscle and nerve damage and problems with blood flow.

    Prognosis is highly variable after surgery and depends on how rapidly you are treated.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    arm numbness, hand numbness, foot numbness, pain in one leg, thigh numbness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  9. 9.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Calf

    Repetitive strain injury of the calf is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Duplicate: Resolves with rest

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    lower leg numbness, calf pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the calf:
    calf pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the calf:
    recent calf injury, severe calf pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Calf Strain

    A strain, commonly called a "pulled muscle," is when a muscle becomes overstretched, and microscopic tears occur. A calf strain happens when one of the muscles on the back of the lower leg is pulled.

    With proper medical attention, this condition should completely resolve.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one calf, moderate calf pain, calf pain, sports injury, soccer injury
    Symptoms that always occur with calf strain:
    pain in one calf
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swelling on the Lower Leg

  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.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, try our swelling on the lower leg symptom checker to find out more.

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Swelling on the Lower Leg Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced swelling on the lower leg have also experienced:

    • 7% Lower Leg Pain
    • 2% Swelling of One Foot
    • 2% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced swelling on the lower leg had symptoms persist for:

    • 29% Over a Month
    • 28% Less Than a Week
    • 22% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced swelling on the lower leg were most often matched with:

    • 40% Deep Vein Thrombosis
    • 33% Lymphangitis
    • 26% Cellulitis
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swelling on the lower leg

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