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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18462
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My wife is suffering with a slightly swollen left ankle through

Customer Question

My wife is suffering with a slightly swollen left ankle through to the foot.
The right one is quite normal. She had a major stroke in 2011 and several other transient strokes, but were undetected. my wife lost the use of her legs through a urine infection several months ago and had to go into a nursing home for rehabilitation. She is able to walk up and down stairs unaided, also around the house. The ankle in question is not so swollen first thing in the morning but is worse later in the day.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

It will help if you could provide some further information.

Is she having any pain in the leg, ankle, or foot?
Is she having any other symptoms, such as shortness of breath?
What chronic medicines is she taking?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No pain

Occasionally shortness of breath

Atorvastatin 20mg

Candesartan 8mg

Clopidogrel 75 mg

Nateglinide 60 mg 2 per day

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

It is good that there is no pain. One of the concerns when there is swelling in one ankle and foot would be the development of a blood clot in the leg. This would be more of a concern if there were pain in the leg, ankle, or foot. So, the fact that there is no pain is a good sign that this is not the problem.

The most common cause of swelling of one ankle and foot that is worse as the day progresses is due to venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is due to poor flow through the veins because of damage to the veins, decreased tone, or loss of elasticity causing the valves in the veins to not work as well.

If she were having significant shortness of breath, then there would be concern that there is fluid accumulation also in the lungs, but with only occasional shortness of breath, this is not a concern.

There are a couple of options to help in this situation. Resting with elevation of the foot, as she has been doing, is appropriate. It also will usually help to use compression stocking, such as TED stockings. There also is a supplement that can help venous insufficiency if the TED stockings are not sufficient, called horse chestnut. However, the horse chestnut should be used with caution in someone taking medicines that thin the blood, such as the clopidogrel. It is not a combination that must be avoided, but if the supplement is to be used, it is recommended that close monitoring by her doctor be done or consider lowering the dose of the medicine.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Dr. D. Love and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dr Love.

Would it be worth me buying for my wife an electronic circulation booster, to help with the swollen ankle and foot? The ankle is worse during the day. I have read very good reports on varied age groups who use them, who claim satisfaction from their use. I would appreciate you thoughts.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
An electronic circulation booster has not been as well studied as the interventions noted above. If the above interventions are not effective, then it would be OK to consider this option.