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Swollen ankle after stretching. Should I see a doctor?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2561 Questions
I did some stretching , took a shower and noticed a lump on the top of my ankle, stepped out of the shower it moved to the side of the bottom of my leg, now my ankle is swollen. I haven't been very mobile the last few days because of my young child being sick.So, Ive been in the bed with her.Should I see a Dr. , if so what type and can it wait until tomorrow?
Posted Tue, 27 Aug 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Prasad 1 hour later

Thanks for a detailed description. However I am unable to explain the lump that moves suddenly with change of position. Yes, dependent posture moved odematous fluid due to gravity, but such changes are gradual and not in matter of few seconds/minutes. Therefore a physical examination is definitely needed to understand the cause and its treatment.

A vascular cause of pedal edema is the most likely explanation of this dependent pedal edema. Stretching induce trauma is the next possible cause. You are encouraged to see your doctor as and when you get the appointment.

In the meanwhile keep the limb elevated. Avoid prolonged standing/walking. You did not specify your prior medical issues; but if you suffer from high blood pressure and are on medications (particularly calcium channel blocker group of drugs) - check if any of it can cause pedal edema. You may also ice the affected area. Besides that, watch out for increase in the size of swelling, color and texture changes of skin as well as pain - you might need to consider emergency visit with these symptoms.

Hope it is clarified. Let me know if you need other assistance.

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Follow-up: Swollen ankle after stretching. Should I see a doctor? 1 hour later
Can you overstretch or pinch a nerve if it has been done in a wrong position, or to hastily? Could it possibly be a pinched nerve , as the stress climbed, I started getting a headache and neck pain. It feels like I have pulled something, however that doesn't explain the sudden bump nor the quick change of position. It was only on one leg??????
Answered by Dr. Prasad 4 hours later

Pinched nerve, ligament sprains and muscle spasms also present with sudden onset swelling. But pain always accompanies swelling. Though you don't have the typical symptoms, if I were to be your treating physician, I would list it as a differential diagnosis; since the close association of stretching activity.

Due to the absence of pain, this shifting pain might be due to peripheral oedema. Thus vascular dysfunctions need to be excluded. Your local doctor will know about this phenomena. You should consider a visit to the doctor whenever feasible.

As described in my previous answer, keeping limb elevated and icing can help.

Hope to this helps. Let me know if you need clarification.

Good luck...
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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