Swollen Left Leg Causes

Causes for Left Leg Swelling

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

What causes swollen legs?

While getting new headshots done the other day, my photographer was telling me that his wife was dealing with an unusual health challenge. He said her left leg was swelling, from just below the knee to the ankles.There had been testing done to rule out a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombophlebitis) and PAD. She apparently had researched gout on the internet and ruled that out as well.

I really didn’t know what could be causing it either, other than maybe a hip misalignment impinging on and irritating nerves. If that were the case, chiropractic care might be helpful. I told him I’d get back to him if I could find anything else on it.

Wow. I did not expect what I found. Turns out there are quite a few reasons for leg swelling. In fact, there is even one specific to women for which no cause is known. This type of swelling is called Idiopathic Cyclic Edema. This condition is alternately called fluid retention syndrome. However, since idiopathc edema mainly affects younger women of menustrating age, and my friend’s wife is older, it doesn’t seem likely this would be the diagnosis either.

Other causes of unexplained leg swelling:
Venous Insufficiency (those with varicose veins more at risk for this)
Nephrotic Syndrome (a condition affecting the kidneys)
Cirrhosis Of The Liver
Shulman’s Syndrome (caused by an increase of a certain type of white blood cell)
Diabetes – Articles on Diabetes
Silent Thrombosis
Lymph Congestion – About Lymph Drainage
Chronic Constipation – About Chronic Constipation
Baker’s Cyst (these typically affect the knee joint and back of knee more than leg)

A fall or hard bump against the leg, causing trauma to the tissues, can also cause prolonged swelling if a hematoma results.

It’s all in your head – or maybe started there ….

The most facinating piece of information came from a forum where someone had posted, asking what could cause the left leg to swell. >One of the posters to the forum, who said they worked “in the field”, responded that a blow to the head could affect the kidney meridians and that a swollen left leg indicated that the left kidney was congested.

This is fascinating in this particular instance because, in the course of our conversation, my photographer friend also told me that his wife had fallen and hit her head before the leg swelled, and that she had also had a bladder infection.

While I certainly can’t say her swollen leg is connected to the hit to the head, it is odd that the events happened with the timing they did. Here’s the post on swollen left leg causes

2 thoughts on “Swollen Left Leg Causes

  1. I fell off my bike,my left leg struck a rock just above the knee causing a swelling in that area only(no broken skin),it was sore which diminished over the following 4 days.Then for no aparant reason the leg has now swollen from the thigh to my foot,WHY.It is not cellulitis,I had this last december.Any ideas

  2. Bob: As you may have noticed in the article, there can be a whole host of causes for swollen legs. I would suggest seeing a doctor, though, just to rule out any serious medical situation. Before reading the rest please note that I am NOT saying you have any of these situations. It’s probably just internal inflammation from an adhesion or something like that….however, a doctor can rule out torn ligaments that might be causing the internal inflammation. Also can rule out rarer but possible situations such as bleeding under the skin, blood clot, DVT or cancer (My niece got hit by a baseball on her leg and then it swelled and a knot came up – it was cancer. The doctor said something to the effect that the cancer thrived where there was a weakness in the system)

    Just good to rule out the heavy stuff so you can then focus on other ideas such as chronic inflammation. I use a product called Zyflamend by New Chapter that works terrific for internal inflammation.

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