Edema (American English) or oedema (British English) (/ɪˈdimə/; from the Greek οἴδημα—oídēma, "swelling"), formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, which are locations beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body. It is clinically shown as swelling. Generally, the amount of interstitial fluid is determined by the balance of fluid homeostasis, and increased secretion of fluid into the interstitium or impaired removal of this fluid may cause edema.Source: Wikipedia
The most common causes of leg swelling are pyogenic skin infection, deep vein thrombosis (dvt), and bruise. Other possible causes, such as osteoarthritis, are more rare.
Within all the people who go to their doctor with leg swelling, 82% report having leg pain, 50% report having abnormal appearing skin, and 34% report having shortness of breath.
Patients with leg swelling often receive radiographic imaging procedure, hematologic tests, complete blood count, plain x-ray, glucose measurement, kidney function tests, electrolytes panel and intravenous fluid replacement .
The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with leg swelling include enoxaparin (lovenox), bumetanide, metolazone, cefadroxil, diflunisal, dicloxacillin, fondaparinux (arixtra), ioversol, hydrochlorothiazide / spironolactone, glycerin-phenol topical, brompheniramine / phenylephrine / phenylpropanolamine, cephradine and methicillin .
Groups of people at highest risk for leg swelling include age 75+ years age 45-59 years.