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swelling in legs

Q: My father, aged 74, has prolonged swelling in one of his legs below the knee. He is not a sugar patient. Swelling and pain increased, if he walks long distance.Once back home and some rest, the pain & swelling is reduced to some extent. But the swelling does reduce below a certain extent.Your advise please.thanksPS

A:Swelling on the legs has 2 major gropus of causes:1. Local causes 2. As part of a systemic generaliseddisease. While the first category is much more commonand are usually of relatively less serious conditions,the second category does include more seriousconditins.The commonest local causes is poor blood circulationin the legs due to venous insufficiency where thevalves in the veins of the leg become incompetent.Varicose veins may also cause the same problem. Thereare several similar conditions that may also cause thesymptoms that you have described.In the second category are serious problems related toheart, kidney, liver that can cause swelling but thatswelling is not limited to the legs. It does soonspread to involve the wholoe body.I feel that your father needs to be clinicallyevaluated by a general physician to ascertain thecause of the swelling that you have described.The treatment would depend upon the casue.

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