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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for pain and swelling in the ankles and feet

Answered by
Dr. Ahmed Aly Hassan

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 441 Questions

Posted on Tue, 28 Mar 2017 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have recently (4 wks ago) noticed slight swelling in my ankles and feet. I am a very active 55+ athlete who trains for 200m sprints in USAMasters Track and Field. Within the last week , I was diagnosed with shingles. I was prescribed Ibuprofen 800 mg 3x /day as needed for pain. After one wk of 2400mg /day, I found out how Ibuprofen causes fluid retention. I stopped and spoke to my urologist who saw my edema about 3wks ago but was unconcerned. He said that my bp being so variable (157/105 - 122/67) and the swelling was due to the nsaid and to raise my feet higher than my heart, very low salt intake, drink lots of water and I should be fine. It would take about one wk or so to get the effect of the nsaid out of my body. My swelling has gone down more so than the days that I was taking the nsaid, my bp has been more normal. What I have noticed is that when I have minor physical exertion (bending over to tie my shoe, easy 100m runs) a pressure builds inside my head, especially from the back of the neck up. There is no pain only pressure. It is relieved when I don't do anything. I never experienced this before. Can this symptom be from the nsaid? Should I see a cardiologist?a pulmonary doc?if symptoms persist? A side note, I do have the dreaded DELC: diagonal ear lobe crease.
Answered by Dr. Ahmed Aly Hassan 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
i dont think NSAIDs have any thing to do with it , mainly i think it is a blood pressure problem.

Detailed Answer:
Hi i am Dr Ahmed Aly
thanks for using healthcaremagic site ,
I had gone through your question and understand your concerns ..

In my opinion you seem a healthy 58 male i dont think you should worry unless the problem became more frequent and if it happens while resting and not while jogging , this may be just weakness that requires some B12 vitamin supplementation and will prevent your shingles , or even due to eating or drinking any substance that may contain high glucose or cholesterol levels that interferes with your blood pressure.
If your legs swelling comes back you may need to Doppler U/S to rule any vascular injuries .like a clot or DVT ( deep vein thrombosis ) which in your case with physically active athletics will be very low and rarely to happen .
Try to check up your pressure for 4 consecutive days at the same interval to have the best average pressure if it was not within the normal ranges .
I dont think the anti inflammatory NSAIDs have anything to do with it especially after you stopped using it , If this problem became more frequent i think it will be due to a blood pressure problem so you may visit your cardiologist for a full physical and laboratory investigation to rule the underlying cause for proper evaluation and management .

Please click and consider a 5 star rating with some positive feedback if the information was helpful. Wish you good health,
Any further clarifications feel free to ask.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Ahmed Aly Hassan 1 hour later
Dr XXXXXXX Thank you for your reply. I was curious to see what your opinion was of the edema and the pressure issue. Did the nsaids cause the swelling in my ankles/feet? The feeling of pressure in my head when I am running 100m or 200m intervals doesn't produce pain but a feeling of tightness/pressure from the back of my head and upward. Oddly enough, this sensation does not result in a shortness of breath. Could this be a pulmonary issue and the swelling a form of pulmonary edema?
Answered by Dr. Ahmed Aly Hassan 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Hi Mr XXXXXXX hope you feel better soon

Detailed Answer:
hope you feel better soon
I dont think NSAIDs could cause such swelling usually side effects include more gastric and cardiac problems .
No i think no pulmonary issue and probably it have a relation to your cardiac profile .
pulmonary edema is a very high risk disease and the swelling of extremities will be a late sighn of such disease .
I think you may have a visit to your cardiologist for check up and maintain your exercising , elevate your legs and wear compression stockings will help .
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy

The User accepted the expert's answer

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