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Lymphedema and Cankles: All The Facts! 

Vital health problem is Lymphedema and Cankles. Most people don’t realize this. Some may think they only have cankles. If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to swollen ankles that make it difficult to distinguish between your calves and ankles (therefore the name). Keep in mind that “cankles” is slang. You aren’t likely to hear doctors using it. You should pay attention to your cankles because they can describe several medical conditions.

However, it is possible that a lack of calf muscle definition can cause cankles. Excess fat tissue in the area may also be to blame. Cankles are often caused by fluid accumulating in the lower leg.

Elephant legs are sometimes also a source of complaints. Lymphedema can cause swelling that extends beyond the ankle. As well as a sign that you’ve entered the most dangerous stage of lymphedema, it turns out that the appearance of your ankles and legs could be indicative of any number of severe health issues.

Ankle swelling: What causes it?

Swollen ankles are common among pregnant women. This cankle cause usually disappears when you give birth, so you might not need to seek treatment. Swelling of the ankles can also result from liver and kidney disorders. Tell your doctor about your swollen ankles right away if you have a family history of either disease.

Also, cankles are not always a sign of swelling but of extra fat. Seeing excess ankle fat could mean you have lipedema if you’re a woman. An increase in body fat beneath the skin on your legs is caused by this hormonal condition, which affects up to 11% of women. You should consult your doctor if your symptoms are severe and painful.

Consult your doctor if you suspect any of these conditions. However, we’ll talk about cankles today. The symptoms of swollen, puffy ankles may indicate several potentially serious vein conditions. As a result, you should consult a doctor as soon as you notice any signs of lymphedema. Otherwise, severe complications may occur.

Insufficiency/disease of the veins

The condition known as venous insufficiency occurs when your veins have trouble returning blood to your heart from your extremities. This condition causes blood to pool in your leg veins because it doesn’t flow properly. Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency include varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot forming in the deep veins of your legs.

The following symptoms characterize VI:

  • Ankles or legs swollen
  • with heavy, painful legs
  • Skin that is thicker on the legs and ankles
  • Dyschromia around the ankles


When the fluid becomes trapped in the soft tissues of the leg, swelling can occur (edema). This usually occurs due to malfunctioning valves in your veins. Vein valves in your legs can weaken or fail, which causes blood to no longer be pumped out of your legs. Fluid and blood become trapped there, and as they build up, the portion may swell. The swelling in the body caused by fluid buildup is called edema.

Lymphedema versus lipedema

As a result of a malfunctioning lymphatic system, a lymphedema is a form of chronic edema. Although vein disease can progress into combined venous/lymphatic disorders, edema caused by lymphatic disorders is not the same. Similarly, as swelling in the lower legs, lymphedema should be treated as soon as possible by a healthcare professional.

Symptoms of lymphedema may also progress. As the disease progresses, you may also notice a “pillow” swelling in your foot. Lymphedema causes it to remain after sleeping. Stemmer’s symptom is another sign. If the back of your second toe cannot be folded, you have this condition. You will also likely have pale skin. You’ll notice swelling in your middle lower leg but not your thigh. we start to hear about elephant legs.) 

Finally, you may develop fibrosis and thickened and hardened skin on your leg.

On the other hand, Lipedema is another condition that can cause an increase in ankle size, but this is caused by fat buildup instead of fluid retention. Further, if you have lipedema, you will likely have fat deposits elsewhere besides your ankles. Lipedema usually affects your calves, thighs, and buttocks, typically seen in women, not men, unlike lymphedema.

Lipedema: Recognizing it

Excess fat accumulates on the lower half of your body during this condition without a clear cause. Lipedema is common in overweight women, but obesity does not cause it. Most women develop symptoms during major hormonal shifts instead of the condition being related to hormones. (Think puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.)

Types of lipedema

There are several forms of this condition. Fat is concentrated mainly on the buttocks and hips of people with Type I lipedema. Between your hips and knees, those buildups occur with Type II.

Are your pelvis and ankles lined with fat? There’s probably something wrong with you if you notice a distinct fat cut-off right at your ankles. In Type IV, the deposits are distributed over the upper body, from the shoulder to the wrist. However, most of your buildups are in your calves if you have Type V.

Currently, treating lipidemia is difficult. Body positivity advocate Heather Johnson is one of the many women who embrace their larger lower bodies. Lipidomic still causes pain and a buildup of lymphatic fluid. Whether or not that occurs will require treatment (this is called secondary lymphedema).

What to do if You Have Cankles

When you have cankles caused by fatty buildup in your legs, you may also be able to improve the appearance of your lower legs by treating the underlying issue. It is always a good idea to treat your cankles when it can save your veins from further damage, even if it is purely cosmetic! Exercises for Cankles

Are your ankles swollen? You should not wait for your symptoms to disappear, or they may worsen! Call a Houston vein specialist as soon as possible. Your cankles can be diagnosed by a Houston vein specialist as quickly as possible, and we can then get you on the road to recovery.

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