top of page

Swollen feet and ankles (peripheral oedema)

What is it?

What causes it?

Swelling of the feet and ankles (known medically as peripheral oedema).

Sometimes, swelling of the ankle can be caused by trauma or injury. In other cases, swollen feet and ankles can occur due to medical conditions such as diabetes, venous insufficiency, arthritic feet, lung problems, heart problems, lymphedema, or kidney disease [1].

Swollen foot, ankle and leg (peripheral oedema)

What are the symptoms?

What podiatry treatments are available?

Your feet and ankles might be swollen all of the time, or they might swell after being on your feet for long periods and go down with rest. The swelling might also be painful, especially when you are walking.

  • Full assessment – our podiatrist will determine the cause of the swelling by fully assessing your medical history and circulation.

  • Footwear assessment and advice – we can advise on the best shoes to wear to accommodate your swollen feet and ankles. We may prescribe insoles to put in your shoes to improve comfort and support your feet.

  • Compression socks and stockings – if appropriate, our podiatrist will also advise on the best way to reduce swelling with the use of compression hosiery. This can prevent the pooling of fluid in your feet and ankles [2].

  • Self-care advice – we will offer advice on exercises and other things you can do at home to reduce the swelling and improve circulation.

  • GP referral – if an underlying medical condition or trauma/injury is suspected as the cause, we offer referrals to your GP for further investigation.


1.     BMJ Best Practice (2017) Assessment of peripheral oedema. [Online] Available at:

2.     National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (2012) Clinical knowledge summaries: compression stockings.

bottom of page