Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

perplexing swollen ankle/foot nonresponsive to treatment

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: gentamicinman
  • February 13, 2010
  • 06:18 AM

Today is Feb 12 -
I have been under a doctor's care (for this problem) since Jan 4

The problem is a swollen left foot, ankle and lower 1/3rd of left leg -
there is no pain in the toes or the ankle joint. There are random periods of pain on the top of the foot, and shooting pains from the inside ankle bone and extending 6 - 8 inches up the inside of the left leg.

I am currently taking coumadin (a sonogram revealed superficial vein thrombosis) 2 weeks ago. I question the treatment, but....

Prior to that I was on an antibiotic for suspected infection in this area. It did nothing beneficial.

I have had blood tests for gout, arthritis, etc - all negative

The swollen foot/ankle/leg suddenly appeared 12/31

On 12/30 I had excruciating pain extending from the hip to the foot on the outside of the left leg - so painful I could not walk 100 feet.

On 12/28 I had significant pain in the area of the left hip.

On 12/23 I had a spinal injection of steroids to address right hip and right leg muscle pains which were triggered by driving a car 20 miles or more.

That problem (right leg pain) has been fixed.

I am a 72 year old male - who had been active. I've had the normal aging experiences including a MI in 1991 and surgery to repair a AAA in 2003.

My med list is long, but also long term with no side effects.

Concurrently with all this and due to comments by MDs, I successfully ceased a 5 year treatment with prednisone (10mg daily) which was a successful treatment for a 30 year problem with costochondritis.

The withdrawal was a multiweek process with weekly reductions of 2.5 mg and extended plateaus which caused the withdrawal to extend to 12 weeks.

I am experiencing shortness of breath during exertion - my MD and I agreed that this might be in part due to the withdrawal of prednisone which likely masked an underlying condition.

My research indicates that most ankle swelling is limited to 1 or 2 weeks - unless untreated gout or RA is involved. Even vein problems are described as short term.

Besides the major problem of not being able to wear shoes and socks on that foot, I am worried that something significant is being overlooked.:mad:

I'll appreciate any and all comments, suggestions, etc.:o

Dave

Reply Flag this Discussion

5 Replies:

  • This sounds like Lymphedema to me. Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Lymphedema symptoms include: Swelling of part of your arm or leg or your entire arm or leg, including your fingers or toesA feeling of heaviness or tightness in your arm or legRestricted range of motion in your arm or legAching or discomfort in your arm or legRecurring infections in your affected limbHardening and thickening of the skin on your arm or legYour lymphatic system is crucial to keeping your body healthy. Lymphedema in your arm or leg can lead to serious complications, such as: Infections. Lymphedema makes your affected arm or leg particularly vulnerable to infections. Possible infections include cellulitis — a serious bacterial infection of the skin — and lymphangitis — an infection of the lymph vessels. Any injury to your arm or leg can be an entry point for an infection.Lymphangiosarcoma. This rare form of soft tissue cancer can result from the most severe cases of untreated lymphedema. Possible signs of lymphangiosarcoma include blue-red or purple marks on the skin.It's a good idea to arrive well prepared for your doctor's appointment. Your doctor may try to rule out other causes of swelling when diagnosing lymphedema. There's no cure for lymphedema. It can be frustrating to know that no cure exists for lymphedema. If you're at risk of developing secondary lymphedema, you can take measures to help prevent it.
    aleasha89 34 Replies
    • February 13, 2010
    • 04:40 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thank you -Aleasha89 - You've given me yet another avenue to pursue. Were the situation not so serious, this searching could be a fine detective game - guess I'll wait for the re-release before I enjoy it.I stumbled onto another interesting link - a case where the body's structure allows a right artery to overlay a left vein, potentially restricting the flow in the vein. The medical description and a picture is here: http://www.fvleiden.org/ask/71.htmlThanks again,DaveThis sounds like Lymphedema to me. Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Lymphedema symptoms include: Swelling of part of your arm or leg or your entire arm or leg, including your fingers or toesA feeling of heaviness or tightness in your arm or legRestricted range of motion in your arm or legAching or discomfort in your arm or legRecurring infections in your affected limbHardening and thickening of the skin on your arm or legYour lymphatic system is crucial to keeping your body healthy. Lymphedema in your arm or leg can lead to serious complications, such as: Infections. Lymphedema makes your affected arm or leg particularly vulnerable to infections. Possible infections include cellulitis — a serious bacterial infection of the skin — and lymphangitis — an infection of the lymph vessels. Any injury to your arm or leg can be an entry point for an infection.Lymphangiosarcoma. This rare form of soft tissue cancer can result from the most severe cases of untreated lymphedema. Possible signs of lymphangiosarcoma include blue-red or purple marks on the skin.It's a good idea to arrive well prepared for your doctor's appointment. Your doctor may try to rule out other causes of swelling when diagnosing lymphedema. There's no cure for lymphedema. It can be frustrating to know that no cure exists for lymphedema. If you're at risk of developing secondary lymphedema, you can take measures to help prevent it.
    gentamicinman 1 Replies
    • February 13, 2010
    • 07:21 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I sure wish you the best. Have you been checked for deep vein thrombosis yet?
    aleasha89 34 Replies
    • February 14, 2010
    • 05:12 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I sure wish you the best. Have you been checked for deep vein thrombosis yet?Thanks for the feedback.Yes - I have been tested, from the groin to the foot - the test was a Ultrasound which has been the standard for diagnosing DVT for approximately the last decade or more, replacing x-ray venography. That test revealed superficial vein thrombosis or SVT which is also called superficial thrombophlebitis/phlebitis.Since the condition has lasted 6+ weeks - and seems unresponsive to traditional methods, I am now searching for other conditions which can also present a swollen foot/ankle condition.Thanks again,Dave
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 15, 2010
    • 03:58 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Has there been anything further with this? I seem to be having very similar problems and its been like this for over a year - just wondering if there is a solution?My doctor seemed only concerned with my being overweight and made only a very cursory exam of my leg - just rolled up trouser leg wasnt asked to remove shoes or socks or anything.Any help or further comments appreciatedthanks
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.