Swollen ankles in the elderly can be noticed in either or both legs when the person stands for prolonged periods of time, or travels in long haul flights or vehicle for many hours. Swollen ankles are also commonly seen in seniors who are overweight and obese. Swelling of the ankles occurs due to buildup of fluid inside the soft tissues that surround the entire ankle region. It may also be caused on account of clotting of blood in the ankles. It has been noticed that quite often the side effects of certain medications used in treating diseases such as blood pressure, depression and constipation in the elderly can also cause swollen ankles.
In order to treat swollen ankles, one must be able to first identify the actual health problem that is responsible for the swelling. Edema has been considered as one of the commonest reasons for swilling of the ankles. An improper blood circulation causes edema. As one grows in age, the veins become weak. These results in trapping of fluids in the gaps between the cells. This is often termed as an early sign of kidney, heart or liver failure.
A condition known as gout occurs when uric acid accumulates in the ankle joint causing inflammation and swelling. Uric acid is produced for carrying the waste material out from the body. In an event when the body produces excess uric acid, it causes gout.
Degeneration of bones due to aging causing arthritis which can also result in swilling ankles. This is referred to as ankle arthritis, and people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are more susceptible to this problem.