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Old 07-14-2009, 06:08 AM   #1
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Question Swollen foot and ankle

I'm currently on an extended holiday in Spain, but with no access to healthcare!!

In April, in the UK, I had a bout of cellulitis in my RIGHT foot. All cleared up with antibiotics, no further problems. However, just as I finished the antibiotics I arrived in Spain.

Pretty much ever since I got here I have been suffering with a badly swollen LEFT foot and ankle. If it was both sides, I would assume it was heat-related (currently around 35-38 degrees every day).

However, it is categorically only my left foot. There is no problem in my right foot, no matter how hot it gets etc.

Overnight, the swelling almost goes away completely. When I wake up, my ankle is normal size and my foot is just a little puffy on top. However, within 10-30 minutes of getting up, the foot is double the size, my toes are so swollen I can't bend them and the outside of my ankle, around my ankle bone, is badly swollen.

As the day goes on, it gets worse until by evening, it is painful and I can sometimes hardly straighten the ankle (ie point my toes). The outside of my ankle, outside of my foot and most of my toes are also pretty much numb by this time too.

IF I put on socks and training shoes, laced up tightly, first thing in the morning and keep them on all day, then at night, there is almost no sign of any swelling! I can only assume that the shoes are acting as some kind of compression sock. However, wearing socks and shoes in this heat all summer is simply not going to be possible or practical.

If I lie down with my foot in the air (ie above my heart), the the swelling sometimes dissipates but I have to lie like that for about 40 mins minimum. Again, this is simply not practical!!

The swelling has at no point moved any further up my leg into my calf.

I have no other similar symptoms, no swelling in my hands or fingers.

I have no idea if it's relevant but I had spinal surgery in 2002 and 2004 (on herniated discs) but the only problems I have ever had from those are all in my right foot (drop foot and poor circulation in the ankle).

I also had multiple pulmonary embolii (blood clots on both lungs) in 2003 but 6 months of Warfarin sorted those out and I have no resulting problems.

If anyone can come up with any good ideas as to what might be causing this, and what I can do to get rid of it, then great!!!! As I say, I can't go to a doctor here because I'm slightly more than just on holiday, but not a full resident. Pharmacies in Spain sell some pretty good stuff over the counter so I may be able to get something that way. I've tried ibuprofen as it's an anti-inflammatory but it made no difference. It certainly feels like fluid in the foot, as it's not solid, I can press my finger into it.

Just in case anyone was going to suggest diuretics, I am not at all keen on them. Especially in this heat, when I am losing water at a rapid rate anyway!!!

Thanks in advance.

 
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