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Learn about your 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. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Swelling on the Lower Leg May Also be Known as:
Left lower leg feels puffy
Left lower leg feels swollen
Left lower leg is puffy
Left lower leg is swollen
Left lower leg puffiness
Left lower leg swelling
One lower leg feels puffy
One lower leg feels swollen
One lower leg is puffy
One lower leg is swollen

Top 7 Swelling on the Lower Leg Causes

  1. 1.Lower Leg Weakness

    Any leg weakness is a sign of nerve damage, which is very worrisome and requires you to go see a doctor immediately!

    There may be several explanations for this symptom and its severity, but a healthcare professional should make an assessment as soon as possible because it may be serious.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    lower leg weakness, foot weakness, arm weakness, odd walking gait, severe pelvis pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Blood Clot Requiring an Ultrasound

    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.

    Go to the emergency room immediately.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, thigh pain, calf pain, upper leg swelling, painful swelling in the lower leg
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Atrial Fibrillation

    An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. The atria comprise two out of the four chambers of the heart. When their beat is disturbed, symptoms such as a racing heart, chest pain, breathlessness, and dizziness may occur.

    Call 911 immediately for an ambulance. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be hard to distinguish from a heart attack, so better be safe.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, racing heart beat, shortness of breath on exertion
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

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  4. 4.Cellulitis

    Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and tissues underneath it. It is most commonly caused by Group A strep and typically enters the body through a break in the skin.

    You should go to your primary care doctor tomorrow. There, he or she will inspect your skin and determine if antibiotics are necessary.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, lower leg pain, lower leg redness, painful swelling in the lower leg, calf pain
    Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis:
    lower leg redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Influenza

    Influenza, or Flu, is an infection of the airway caused by the flu virus, which passes through the air and enters the body through the nose or mouth. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but the flu is usually more serious.

    If your flu-like symptoms are existing for less than 48 hours, it might be helpful to seek care by telephone or in a walk-in-clinic to get a course of oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Most people will get better on their own by drinking lots of fluids and taking an over-the-counter medication such as acetominophen (Tylenol) to help with aches or fever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, cough, muscle aches
    Symptoms that never occur with influenza:
    headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  6. 6.Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    The kneecap (patella) is located directly in front of the thigh bone (femur), and should normally glide freely up and down. In this condition, called patellofemoral pain syndrome, the kneecap may rub against the thigh bone instead of gliding smoothly, causing damage and pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. While you can safely take steps to treat this condition at home (avoiding strenuous use of the knee and taking over-the-counter pain medication), your doctor may coordinate care with a physical therapist to help manage your pain and function of the knee.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting
    Symptoms that always occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Iliotibial (It) Band Syndrome

    Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is the lateral knee pain that results from overuse that occurs after repetitive motion. It is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners and cyclists.

    You should go see your doctor in the coming days/weeks regarding your knee pain. He/she will assess the severity of your iliotibial band syndrome and determine the proper course of treatment (ranging from physical therapy and anti-infammatory medicine to corticosteroid injection or possibly surgery).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when going down stairs, sharp knee pain
    Symptoms that always occur with iliotibial (it) band syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swelling on the Lower Leg

  • Q.Is your lower leg swelling getting better or worse?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our swelling on the lower leg symptom checker.

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Swelling on the Lower Leg Symptom Checker Statistics

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

    • 2% Lower Leg Pain
    • 2% Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling
    • 2% Rash With Bumps or Blisters
  • People who have experienced swelling on the lower leg had symptoms persist for:

    • 32% Over a Month
    • 27% Less Than a Week
    • 18% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced swelling on the lower leg were most often matched with:

    • 9% Lower Leg Weakness
    • 9% Blood Clot Requiring an Ultrasound
    • 8% Atrial Fibrillation

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