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Experiencing pain and swelling on ankle and feet. Which specialist should I consult?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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My mother - everyday, her ankle and feet swell up by evening and it causes her considerable pain.
She also suffers from weak knees.

She doesn't have any history of diabetes, high blood pressure or any cardiac issue. She had been diagnosed a couple of times with low She recently had a nodule development on her thyroid gland, which went away with needle aspiration. But her feet swelling has been there for quite sometime now, although the thyroid nodule is fairly new to the best of our knowledge.

I want to know a good doctor in Bangalore who can investigate this problem with swelling of ankle and feet thoroughly.
Posted Thu, 9 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Swelling that occurs in the feet and ankles by evenings is due to venous disease.

Our legs have two sets of venous systems which are connected to each other. There is the superficial system just below the skin and the deeper system which lies in the deeper tissues. The two are connected by pathways.

Within these venous pathways are valves that prevent the blood in the veins from flowing back, this is so the blood goes back to the heart.
As persons age, these valves do not work as well as they use to and instead of the blood heading back up to the heart it starts to pool in the veins in the legs.

When the legs are elevated the blood does not pool and goes back to the heart. This is the reason that in the morning the legs are not swollen because the legs would have been on the bed during the night, not hanging down and the blood could get back up.

As your mother gets up and moves around during the day, the blood starts to pool in the legs.
She needs to take time during the day to prop her feet up so that the blood has a chance to go back up.
There are also stockings which are specifically designed for persons with venous disease. These can usually be purchased at local pharmacies or physical therapy institutions.

Venous disease can be managed by a general practitioner or a general surgeon.
If the venous disease is severe then a general surgeon can perform a procedure to bypass the affected veins.

There is a website called WWW.WWWW.WW which provides information on general surgeons in Bangalore.
Some names of general surgeons in Bangalore are: Dr L XXXXXXX Dr K Jaganmaya, Dr Rajeshkar, Dr XXXXXXX XXXXXXX

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing pain and swelling on ankle and feet. Which specialist should I consult? 1 hour later
Thank you Doctor for the prompt reply.

From your reply, I understood that this is an age-related problem that needs to be managed unless it is severe enough to require surgery.

I have a follow up question:

Is this venous disease the only possibility or could there be any other possibility that I ought to rule out through a medical investigation?

I just want to make sure that it is not an endocrinal problem related to the thyroid lesion that I mentioned or something else that I can't think of, but you can. Although the overgrown nodule came to our attention recently, it could have been there all along in a minor form causing problems elsewhere in the body.

Thanks in advance.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 53 minutes later
There are other causes of swelling of the lower limbs such as heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease or low levels of protein in the blood.

Usually in these cases there is a history suggesting one of these.

Heart failure can cause swelling of the lower limbs but there would normally be a history of chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations.

Liver disease is also associated with this problem- there would be a history of alcohol use, previous abnormal liver tests, infections of the liver, jaundice, abnormal coloured stool or urine, abdominal pain

Kidney disease may also result in swelling but it is unusual for this occur if a persons does not have a history of diabetes, hypertension.

Thyroid disease does not usually result in swelling.

You can consider doing liver function tests, kidney blood tests to rule these out as causes.
AS mentioned sometimes low protein levels can result in swelling as well , this can also be assessed.

In most of these cases, the swelling is more persistent but you can assess these if you wish to make sure none of these conditions are involved.

Please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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