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How Do I Treat Left Leg Swelling?

Edema can cause left leg swelling.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2014
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The first and most important step in treating left leg swelling is to determine the cause of the swelling. Such swelling often occurs in both legs at the same time, so if it is occurring only in the left leg, it may be wise to visit a doctor immediately to find out what is causing the swelling. Conditions such as edema, blood clots, and injuries resulting from trauma can cause swelling in the left leg, and while some conditions that cause it are relatively minor, others can be quite serious and indicative of a much more serious problem.

A blood clot is a potentially serious condition that can cause left leg swelling. This occurs when blood is pumped into an artery, but the blood cannot be pumped out of a vein due to a blockage. A blood clot can occur for a variety of reasons, and this clotting can cause serious health issues. It will need to be addressed immediately by a doctor, who may recommend medication or surgery. The left leg will become puffy, and this swelling will sometimes be accompanied by pain, weakness, tenderness, or numbness. If any of these conditions occur, seek medical treatment immediately.

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Edema can lead to left leg swelling, and some types of edema are specific to the left leg only, rather than occurring in either the left or right leg. Edema occurs when fluid builds up in a certain part of the body; this may be benign or it may be very dangerous or even fatal. The seriousness of the condition usually depends on how much fluid has built up and in what part of the body the fluid has accumulated. A certain type of edema only occurs in the left leg because of the position of the artery in relation to the veins that service the left leg. Such edema is usually benign and not life-threatening, though it is still wise to see a doctor immediately to eliminate the possibility of a more serious condition.

Left leg swelling can also occur as a result of a direct impact or trauma to the leg. Injuries such as fractures will cause swelling at the site of the injury, and swelling will slow the healing process and likely increase pain. The injuries that cause swelling are not always serious conditions, though swelling is often painful and can limit mobility of the leg. The RICE treatment is often used for such injuries; RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

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Discuss this Article

anon343286
Post 4

I go to bed at night and by morning my left leg swelling goes away.

StarJo
Post 3

I had a swollen left leg after a car accident. I was in the backseat without a seat belt on when we hit another vehicle hard, and my left knee and shin rammed into the driver's seat.

The ambulance arrived in no time, since we were close to a hospital. I don't remember much about it, because I was in so much pain, but I do know that my leg was starting to swell, especially at the knee.

After x-rays revealed that I had no broken bones, they sent me home with pain medicine and told me to put ice on the area several times a day. I guess this kept the swelling to a minimum, but I had to keep taking pain pills for many days after the accident.

Oceana
Post 2

@shell4life – It is strange, isn't it? I've had swollen ankles and calves before, but I've never had the swelling confined to the left leg.

Mine was caused by high blood pressure. I started taking medication for it and stopped eating so much salt, and the swelling went away.

It's always best to find out the cause of your swelling, no matter where it is located. If I hadn't gone to the doctor for mine, I would never have known that I had high blood pressure, and this could have led to more serious things.

shell4life
Post 1

Interesting! I had no idea that some things could cause the left leg to swell and not the right. I would definitely see my doctor if only my left leg swelled and I had no obvious injuries.

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