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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
Welcome to Ask Dr. Kennedy. We encourage you to post your comments and questions here. We look forward to challenging questions as they are an education for us as well as for you. Please consider the following guidelines when posting:

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swollen ankles
Posted by: K. Brown
Date: August 14, 1999 12:16 PM

Five weeks ago for no apparent reason my right ankle began swelling. When the condition persisted I went to the emergency room and was given Indocin for gout even though my uric acid level was normal. The medication did not help. One week later I consulted an orthopedic specialist. A bone scan was ordered. The results showed an 'intake' and Celebrex was prescribed. (Was told it's probably arthritis). I have now been on Celebrex once a day for two weeks (200 mg). My condition has not improved. The only time my ankles are not swollen is after I've been lying down. Each morning my ankles are normal size; but after only a few minutes of being on them the swelling returns. I am at a loss as to what what my next move should be. The condition is very painful and uncomfortable; I am also concerned that it could also be serious.

swollen ankles
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: August 17, 1999 4:13 PM

Of course any diagnosis should come from a doctor who has actually seen you and examined you. I have noticed that in many people dependent edema (that's what we call it - it just means that water runs downhill and at the bottom of the "hill" are your ankles) begins when the calorie intake exceeds the needs of the body. The extra water is for the metabolism of those calories and when the excess calorie intake ceases, the kidneys excrete the water. It may be that drugs are unnecessary in 99% of cases where they are prescribed for dependent edema. At any rate, I suggest you demand an explanation which makes sense from any doctor before you consent to treatment.

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