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Swollen Ankles?

Old 08-20-19, 11:30 AM
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Swollen Ankles?

Has anyone here experienced swollen ankles after riding?

I noticed my ankles were swollen for the past week or so, enough that the top of my not-very-snug biking socks are leaving a dent in my ankle. I've never seen this before in all my years of riding. But then again, this is new territory for me (almost 61 y.o., week 9 of comeback training plan after 4 years of inactivity, recent longer rides with more climbing).

This morning, they're back to normal. Weird.

Anybody else gone through this before?
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Old 08-20-19, 11:56 AM
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I'm 64 yo. I'm on warfarin for that very reason. It's called DVT's, commonly known as blood clots. Go see a vascular specialist. At the very least get compression stockings and wear them religiously. I live in a knee-high on my left leg. You might think about socks for diabetics. They are light weight, loose weave and won't leave the dent in your leg.
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Old 08-20-19, 01:26 PM
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How's your diet? High in sodium?
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Old 08-20-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
How's your diet? High in sodium?
Hmm. I don't think so. Just the electrolytes that are in my sports drink.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I'm 64 yo. I'm on warfarin for that very reason. It's called DVT's, commonly known as blood clots. Go see a vascular specialist. At the very least get compression stockings and wear them religiously. I live in a knee-high on my left leg. You might think about socks for diabetics. They are light weight, loose weave and won't leave the dent in your leg.
Jon
Not all leg swelling is related to DVT's. Only way to know if one is present is by having a diagnostic test. Check with healthcare practitioner if that is a concern.
Compression stockings or calf sleeves can help control lower leg swelling. https://www.webmd.com/dvt/choose-com...on-stockings#1
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Old 08-20-19, 04:07 PM
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Go and see a doctor, there's a whole bunch of reasons ankles swell, none of them are good.
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Old 08-20-19, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Go and see a doctor, there's a whole bunch of reasons ankles swell, none of them are good.
Good advice, I'm on it. Now all I need to do is navigate the medical bureaucracy. My primary care doctor has quit, and none of the other doctors are accepting new patients.

You're right about the myriad causes of swelling ankles, which include:
  • heart valve problem
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • low protein levels
  • deep venous thrombosis
  • severe lung disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • varicose veins
  • liver disease
  • kidney failure
  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • dehydration
I can cross out obesity and pregnancy, so that's a relief.
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Old 08-20-19, 07:19 PM
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Go see your doctor ASAP. If it is DVT its nothing to put off. Blood clots could break free from your legs and migrate up to your heart and plug a vein in it. I have it in only one leg, occurred suddenly when I got out of my car and thought I'd pulled a muscle. I've been taking warfarin, too, keeps it in check but it'll never go away. I can walk and bike ride normally, but by the end of the day my lower calf is noticeably swollen. I never used the compression socks.
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Old 08-20-19, 07:44 PM
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Old 08-20-19, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Good advice, I'm on it. Now all I need to do is navigate the medical bureaucracy. My primary care doctor has quit, and none of the other doctors are accepting new patients.

You're right about the myriad causes of swelling ankles, which include:
  • heart valve problem
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • low protein levels
  • deep venous thrombosis
  • severe lung disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • varicose veins
  • liver disease
  • kidney failure
  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • dehydration
I can cross out obesity and pregnancy, so that's a relief.
Not DVT. If it were, you'd be in the hospital with tubes in you by now. Nor is the greatest possibility on your list: weak vein valves. We have check valves in our veins, just ordinary plumbing. Blood goes toward the heart, doesn't fall back down between beats. As we age, these valves get weak and pressure in the veins increases, starting at the ankles. Then fluid starts to leak out of the veins a bit and saturate surrounding tissues and starts with swollen ankles. This can gradually move up the leg. The immediate fix is compression knee socks, worn all day, every day. Quite stylish ones are available on Amazon. You can also elevate your feet at night if that works for you. Another good thing is simply exercise. Walk an hour every day. Leg muscles pump blood, too. Moving your ankles with the walking motion should help. Some endurance runners wear compression socks during training and events.

How did I learn all this? My wife has had this problem for some time. She tried compression socks on the bike but didn't like it.

But yeah, see a doctor.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:48 PM
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Update: After about 10 days of puffy ankles, they went away and have not come back. Hooray for that.

My two main hypotheses for the cause are dehydration and inadequate protein intake. Hoping that's all it was.

Still waiting to see a doctor. After searching the regional medical groups for days, I finally found one that is accepting new patients (Stanford Family Medicine). The earliest appointment I could get was October 9th.

Last edited by terrymorse; 09-14-19 at 05:49 PM. Reason: grammar fix
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Old 09-17-19, 12:45 PM
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I have had swollen ankles after a couple of grand randonnees (1200 km in 4 days). It's pretty common for your heart to slow down during a ride like that, and one of the resulting symptoms is that there is water buildup in your lower legs. It goes away pretty fast. Hasn't happened to me recently, not sure what the difference is.
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