swollen left ankle - Mothering Forums

swollen left ankle

hennaLisa's Avatar hennaLisa (TS)
07:44 PM Liked: 15
#1 of 9
03-22-2011 | Posts: 250
Joined: Jan 2009

I'm 34 weeks pregnant and have just started getting some swelling in my ankles. It's not a whole lot, but my left ankle tends to swell worse than my right ankle. Today when I got home from walking, I noticed that my left ankle was a little swollen, while my right was not. Both of my shins are a little pink (just on the lower front part). I got back from walking 3 hours ago and the symptoms haven't changed. Should I be worried? I'm not in any pain and my legs don't feel warm. I've heard you can get a blood clot and that maybe uneven swelling or redness could be a symptom, but this seems pretty minor...Any experience or advice would be appreciated!


littleliz's Avatar littleliz
08:28 PM Liked: 10
#2 of 9
03-22-2011 | Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 2008
I don't have any experience or advice (sorry) but I just wanted to see if you found any info through google or if you called your doc? any update at all?
hennaLisa's Avatar hennaLisa (TS)
09:38 PM Liked: 15
#3 of 9
03-22-2011 | Posts: 250
Joined: Jan 2009

I don't have a doctor who I can reach in the evenings. I did google it and found that the uneven swelling can be a symptom of deep vein thrombosis. Redness can too, but it's not so likely to be an issue I think since I have it on both legs. I just don't know whether this little bit of uneven swelling just around the ankle is enough to be concerned with. I did read that a blood clot below the knee is not a concern - that it is only likely to cause a pulmonary embolism if it is above the knee.

imalego's Avatar imalego
03:46 PM Liked: 12
#4 of 9
03-23-2011 | Posts: 210
Joined: May 2006

I don't have any advice, but I did want to come in and say, "Me too!"  I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant and have been noticing the same thing over the past couple weeks.  I can definitely "pit" more on my left than my right.  I actually wasn't too concerned about it...until I read your post!  Eek!  


For what it's worth, I'm otherwise having a healthy pregnancy and figured it was that I maybe bear more weight on my left leg(holding a toddler).  shrug.gif

hennaLisa's Avatar hennaLisa (TS)
05:43 PM Liked: 15
#5 of 9
03-23-2011 | Posts: 250
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Imalego,

I'm glad to hear someone else has the same symptom and isn't pannicking. I spoke with my midwife today and she said that while it is possible that it is a blood clot, she would just caution me to look for any other signs or symptoms such as a sore place on my leg, or redness on just that leg, or if the swelling stays and doesn't fluctuate or go down.



elonwy's Avatar elonwy
12:35 PM Liked: 21
#6 of 9
03-24-2011 | Posts: 677
Joined: May 2009

I have a similar thing, and basically I think it's scary if the swelling doesn't go down when you put your feet up or whatever. My midwife checks mine every visit to make sure it's nothing serious. So, something to maybe keep an eye on, but not something to freak out about.

lucy_v's Avatar lucy_v
10:27 PM Liked: 11
#7 of 9
03-24-2011 | Posts: 362
Joined: Jan 2009

I had the same thing in the last month or so of my pregnancy last year, just one swollen ankle. MW advised me to elevate it as much as possible to reduce swelling, but other than that, she wasn't worried about anything serious. She may have asked some other questions, but I don't remember. I was worried because I googled all the blood clot explanations too, but nothing bad happened to me. 

alpenglow's Avatar alpenglow
12:08 AM Liked: 66823
#8 of 9
03-25-2011 | Posts: 3,928
Joined: Oct 2007

Blood clots/DVT's can be really painful but sometimes they can be present without much pain too. If it were a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) then generally the swelling is higher than just the ankles and it's very painful to stretch the calf, and often feels quite hot.   DVT's (clots in deep veins), either lower leg or thigh can be serious and travel to the lungs.  Clots in superficial veins (closer to surface of leg) are generally harmless.  If you have access to physician care, it can't hurt to ask for a doppler ultrasound to rule out DVT.  If you haven't done so already, I would strongly suggest getting compression stockings at 20-30 mm Hg compression.  They can help reduce the risk of blood clots (hence why they're recommended for frequent airplane travellers).  Sometimes there are over the counter compression socks (18-20 mm Hg compression) which can be effective at reducing swelling also (but less so), and they're usually cheaper and readily available in places like Wal Mart.  Even just knee highs can make a difference (the majority of compression happens at the ankle.  Swelling can be a sign of lymph or vein vessel problems.  Pregnancy hormones make vessels more prone to stretching which makes fluid flow back up the leg less efficiently...a major reason many blood clots develop - blood pooling, slowing down, getting sticky and clotting. 


The compression stockings, when properly fitted, help the lymphatic vessels and veins work more efficiently, prevent permanent damage to the vessels...and your legs will thank you for them for years to come!  Every pregnant woman should consider them.  Aching and swelling are early signs of varicose vein development - nipping this problem in the bud can save many many future hassles!


Best wishes.

clutterbug's Avatar clutterbug
10:40 PM Liked: 23
#9 of 9
03-25-2011 | Posts: 2,026
Joined: Apr 2007

I have had uneven ankle/foot swelling with each pregnancy - always worse on my left than my right (I do get swelling on the right as well, just not as bad).  I have other weird things that happen on the left and not the right (namely, if I stand for a long time, the front of my left thigh goes numb - starts around 20 or so weeks into every single pregnancy).  I have always assumed it's got something to do with how my uterus lies, or how I bear more weight on the left than right, that kind of thing.

Reply Subscribe I'm Pregnant
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3