The ankle is an important part of the human body where the leg and foot meet. There are three joints in the ankle which include the talocrural joint, inferior tibiofibular joint, and subtalar joint. The ankle is important as it functions to dorsiflex (flex up towards the body), plantarflex (flex down with toes pointing down), eversion (slight outward movement), and inversion (slight inward movement).
There are many bones in the ankle, but the main ones involved in the ankle joint are the talus (foot), tibia, and fibula. The ankle is a crucial joint in the human body as it has a significant role in human gait. Swollen ankles can lead to painful and difficulty bearing weight which affects movements such as standing and walking. Swollen ankles can occur due to many reasons and the treatment and management for it will depend on the underlying cause.
Cause #1: Pregnancy
Many women have swollen ankles during pregnancy. It is a normal course of pregnancy. This occurs as the body starts to retain more fluid during pregnancy. Another major factor is the developing uterus that increases pressure on the veins that are pumping blood from your lower body back to your heart.
This means that there is impairment of blood return to the heart. Hormonal changes and fluctuations can also be a contributing factor to swollen ankles. If you have swollen ankles during pregnancy, it may help if you stay off your feet, wear compression stockings, wear loose clothing, and sleeping on your left side to help venous return to your heart.