Suzanne Hughes MSN, RN, Richard P. Lewis MD, MACC, Mandeep R. Mehra MBBS, FACC, Jacqueline A. Noonan MD, FACC
Swollen ankles can be a symptom of heart failure but swelling can
also be a result of factors unrelated to the heart so it's
important to recognize the difference.
ANNOUNCER: One common symptom of heart failure is edema which is
swelling in the body due to fluid buildup. Swelling can occur in the
ankles, legs and lower back.
JACQUELINE NOONAN, MD: Swollen
ankles are common. They're common in the summertime,
they're common when you sit with your legs down, if you've
been on an airplane. They also can occur in heart failure, but the fact
that you have swollen ankles does not necessarily or probably very often
really mean that you have heart failure.
MANDEEP MEHRA: Swollen
ankles can occur from a variety of different things. There are some
medicines that can in fact result in swollen ankles. But when you have a
swollen ankle, it is critical that you see a physician. It could be an
insight into the early development of heart failure. The physician should
be able to examine the patient and come up with a differential diagnosis
that tells them whether these swollen ankles are really because of heart
failure, or do they represent a medication side effect, for