DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ankle oedema. Close up of swollen ankles of a patient. Both feet appear shiny, bulky and white. The patient's left foot has a raised surface caused by an excess of fluid in the tissues. The most common cause is heart failure. The abnormal swelling (pitting oedema) is caused by blood congestion in the veins which results in more fluid being forced into the tissues. Gravity assists this process. Treatment is with direct pressure using bandages or by raising the legs. Excess fluid can be removed by restricting dietary sodium and by the use of diuretic drugs.
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