All that “swells” is not fluid. It may be fat, fibrosis or scar tissue. It also could be edema, according to Anil Kumar, MD, Medical Director, The Vein Center at Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

Leg edema – an acute buildup of fluid in the tissues – becomes progressively worse if it’s not treated. Find out if your leg swelling is due to edema by taking the thumb test. Press your thumb against a bone for 10 seconds. If it makes a dent, the swelling is due to fluid.

“Leg edema is a very common condition,” said Dr. Kumar. “It’s five times more common than heart failure. But, it’s important to remember that edema is a symptom, not a diagnosis.”

During a recent YRMC Healthy Conversations presentation – Say So Long to Swelling: What You Need to Know about Leg Edema – Dr. Kumar explored the most common reasons for leg edema. They include:

  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Trauma
  • Surgery

Dr. Kumar also highlighted the top treatments for leg edema during the brief video. He emphasized that early diagnosis is important to ensure the condition doesn’t cause permanent skin changes. And, spoiler alert: Dr. Kumar does not recommend diuretics as a treatment for leg edema.

Learn more about leg swelling from Dr. Kumar by viewing his Healthy Conversations presentation at Checkout the Healthy Conversations calendar at for upcoming health and wellness presentations from YRMC experts, like Dr. Kumar.

Submitted by Yavapai Regional Medical Center