Swollen ankle

Hi everyone. I have a question if that is alright please.

I went to bed with a swollen ankle last night and awoke with it the same. Felt very tight and hot and the pain had traveled up towards my knee. I took myself to hospital where they did blood tests and all came back ok. He said he had done a D-Dimer which came back at 197 (i think he said it could go up to 300-400) so this was ok. Is it normal to not have a scan to check for DVT'S If there is a swollen leg. He said there was no need. I had explained the APS antibodies being present. He said that this time they would put it down to a muscle sprain. I explained that I had not done any exercise recently due to feeling unwell, he then said it could be a result of the start of 'Rheumatoid Arthritis' ? I came out wondering if he was right, but will have to take his word I suppose. It is still swollen and painful. He did not explain about taking anything for the pain either. Confused!

19 Replies

  • Hi

    I would go back if it is not improving, I would not be happy with what they did or said.

    Best regards.


  • Keep an eye on it! Have you been bitten? If not sure and it feels worse, go back, or to the GP, trust your instinct. Better to check these things out. MaryF

  • Thanks Dave and Mary, I will keep an eye on it for the rest of the night. I am taking a urine sample in to my G.P tomorrow and will ask if she can see me for a short while.

    Kind Regards


  • When I ended up at the local AMU with another suspect DVT I was told that they only scan from groin to knee. This is because if the clot is in the top half of the leg it presents more of a risk of travelling to the heart, lungs brain than if it is below the knee. Sounds strange but their protocols have changed following research. If you aren't happy you can go back but I don't think they will do much more if they have ruled out DVT from tests. Good luck.

  • Thank you LissyLou. I am leaving a letter with my GP today asking her to contact me so I can discuss. I would of felt better if they had scanned my leg but the the hospital doctor said no need after the negative D-Dimer!

  • Hi Cristina1. I too have been experiencing a similar problem in both feet. I've seen numerous GO's and none have been able to offer a satisfactory explanations as to why this may be happening. I wasn't aware that APS patients can sufferer with tendonitis, until I read this on the London Bridge Hospital website. Based on this I was thinking it may well be worth paying to see a rhuematologists as my GO will not agree to send me for an x-Ray as it is his opinion that the x-Ray would not show anything. Not at all helpful. Do update if you find anything further that may be of assistance.

  • Hi Dee 121. Sorry about your experiences. This as happened with me before. Same leg/ankle. Feet effected also. Feel very tender and achy/painful. Occasions of pins and needles and the feeling of blood rushing through then (feeling of pulsating?). If I find anything else out I will let you know. Take care.

  • I'm amazed (as always) by the complete ignorance of medical staff (which you seem to describe correctly), Dee.

  • I would go back and demand a scan. I've just been diagnosed with a DVT . It is only a small one, at the back of my knee/calf and not fully blocking the vein - confirmed by scan, the D-dimer was negative.

    Haven't had a DVT for 20yrs, did test positive years ago but have tested negative for APS (and other clotting disorders) for years. Have just been taking daily aspirin.

    Even though the D-dimer was negative, with my history they decided to do a scan - had to wait 4-5 days (apparently they are rationed now) and they put me on high dose fragmin (the one for treating clots rather than preventing) to be on the safe side.

    I was actually at GP 3 weeks before with similar and a D dimer came back negative then - and I believed it - but I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the same clot and the aspirin was just keeping it under control...

    And with you 'being unwell' -have you been more inactive than usual? Obviously that can be a risk factor...

    Good Luck .....

  • Hi Lucky67. Sorry about your clot, glad it is being treated. I have been more inactive than usual. Today the swelling has gone done further (around the ankle) but still some pain. I'm worried I will be seen as a nucience if I go back!!

    I have now given 4 positive 'AntiCardiolipin' blood tests. All other bloods are ok.

    I'm just about to take a water sample in to my G.P surgery for it to be dip tested (keep getting blood and protein in my urine, but no infection showing. Not sure if this may be a cause of the swelling?) Can't get to see her till next week, so I am going to leave a letter with the water sample.

    Thank you


  • HI Crista1 -

    I am so sorry you are having swelling/pain. Personally, if it were me, as the symptoms you have are so familiar and similar to those I had with a DVT...I would demand an ultrasound that extends the length of the leg. It is hard b/c every time you run to get a test, it does feel as though you are becoming a nuisance, but it is your life and health and that must take priority. Hope you feel better! :)

  • Thank you Sandrapanda. I am at the hospital for something else tomorrow and will take myself to have it scanned... I'll even take a flask if I have too!!!

    Take care.

  • The negative predictive value of a negative Ddimer is 99% which is as good as any test in medicine. You could be the 1% with a negative Ddimer and a DVT.

  • I think I would have to be extremely unlucky to be in the 1%!!

  • I believe the D dimer isn't reliable in some cases (depends on detecting a fragment found in the early part of the clotting process - mixed research papers on its reliability) ...I wouldn't trust it!

    Good luck with getting a scan...

    If it was both ankles swollen it could be linked to a kidney (or even heart problem) - just one is what would make me worry...

  • Just one ankle. Swelling has gone down but still a little achy. Feel a bit of a nuisance going back.Daft really. Thank you for replying.

  • I recently went to St Thomas with a suspected DVT. The D-Dimer was negative but because of my history they called the Lupus Unit and they told them to do a scan which they did from top to bottom and by one of the consultant radiologists! It was negative thank goodness. I had just returned from abroad on a long haul flight and when the pain started I gave myself my normal heparin shot. Personally I think it helped disperse a small clot!

  • Glad it was a negative for you. Still feels achy, but swelling down x

  • Hello everyone. If someone has a DVT would there be bruising as well. I have awoken this morning with a bruise at the front of my ankle (inch by an inch). I haven't banged it and as you know I took myself to hospital last week where nothing showed on the D-Dimer. Maybe it is a muscle strain (not done anything which may have caused that but I don't know) Any answers would be appreciated. Thank you x

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