Many people complain of swelling of the legs or ankles, particularly those who stand for long periods and in the majority of cases this is alleviated by simply wearing support stockings and ensuring you have flat well-fitting shoes.
There are two other causes of swollen legs; varicose veins which reduce the efficiency of the circulation in your legs, and a condition called lymphoedema. In addition to arteries which supply the leg with blood and veins which take the blood from the leg, the lymphatic system clears material which escapes from the circulation. If the lymphatic system becomes blocked or if you have a poorly developed system, you can develop swelling known as lymphoedema. In most cases, lymphoedema is treated by wearing elastic compression stockings or through the use of an intermittent pneumatic compression pump, however in severe and advanced cases it can be treated surgically.
If you do have problems with your lymphatic system, it is important to take great care of your feet and avoid getting infections between the toes as this is likely to overwhelm the lymphatics and make the swelling worse. It is therefore essential that you treat any infection early, even athlete’s foot. A personal consultation at the John Scurr Practice will identify the cause of any swelling through an ultrasound scan and highlight the most appropriate treatment based on your individual circumstances.