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Swollen Ankles after Surgery

Swollen Ankles after Surgery

It is not uncommon to see people experiencing swollen ankles after surgery. There are plenty of factors that could lead up to this condition, but fortunately, they all have specific methods of treatment as well.
Rahul Thadani
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
If you are experiencing swollen ankles after undergoing a surgery, then the degree of your concern will depend entirely on the nature of the surgery that you underwent. Some cases of ankle swelling will occur due to a completely unrelated reason, whereas some cases may be a direct result of the surgery. You also need to note if the swelling is accompanied by pain or not. If you are feeling pain as well, then it could be as a direct result of some external trauma, injury, or pressure on the ankle. The inflammation caused by this force could be leading to the pain and the swelling. On the other hand, if there is no sensation of pain, then the swelling could be occurring due to the accumulation of fluid in the ankles of the individual. This is a condition that is also known as "peripheral edema".


If an individual has undergone joint replacement, knee replacement, or any other surgery in the lower half of the body, it is not uncommon for him/her to experience swollen feet and ankles and swelling in other parts of the legs as well. This occurs due to inactivity of these body parts, which then leads up to an accumulation of blood in these organs.

The inactivity experienced here leads to a lessening of the muscle contraction in these parts, which in turn means that the valves which transport blood back to the heart fail to function completely. It is through this contraction of the muscles that the blood flow keeps sustaining itself continuously. A failure of these contractions causes the blood to stay in one particular spot, thus leading to swollen ankles and legs.

Some cases of this swelling are a direct result of the surgery that has been conducted, whereas in other cases swollen feet and legs occur simply because the individual is unable to move around freely after the surgery. This results in the person sitting in one spot with the legs in a stationary position, thus leading to swelling.

Other Causes

Experiencing this phenomenon can also be attributed to other causes. There are many factors that could lead to this condition, and they could be plaguing an individual right after he/she has undergone surgery of some kind. Here are some of these causes:
  • Infection
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Vascular disorders
  • Physical injury
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged standing
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Scleroderma
All these factors have different methods of treatment and the swelling of the ankles and legs is just one of the symptoms that these conditions will display.


Visiting a doctor will help you pinpoint the exact cause of this problem if you feel that it is getting out of hand. He/she will ask you to give him/her details about your surgery and the symptoms that led up to the surgical procedure. The doctor will also ask you a variety of other questions about your lifestyle and your habits. He/she will then proceed to give you suitable treatment for the condition, and also recommend that you stand up and walk around from time to time.

Swollen ankles may occur as a direct result of the surgery, or it may occur because you have become inactive after it. Either way, there are going to be specific treatments that will apply to your condition, and this is a problem that will soon be cured.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.