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  • Swollen ankles/feet

    My hubby often has very swollen feet and ankles and they are covered in broken blood vessels. Any one else with this problem while on coumadin? He claims he told the cardio - and it was nothing to worry about. His pt/inr is very stable 3.0.
    the swelling is worse of course when he is doing heavy lifting, yardwork, etc.
    Today he lugged tons of wood posts and rr ties up our big hill to the road in many, many trips. He will never ask for help and insists on doing everything himself. He is also very overweight 260 at 6 feet tall.
    Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Call his Cardiologist. He's developing a good fluid build up and if he doesn't stop doing what he's doing, he's not going to be around long. What does his doctor say about his heavy lifting and constant work habits?


    • #3
      Chances are it's water retention, especially if the swelling goes up and down or gets steadily more pronounced through the day until he gets to bed.

      If the cardiologist says it's not a problem, get a second opinion from a primary care doc or something.

      The broken blood vessels is probably just varicose veins and as I recall, that's not too serious, just "unsightly." It's more common in older folks but I'm only (only?) 30 and I have a few in my ankles...

      Get a second opinion on the swollen ankles, if it's retention that's DEFINITELY something you need to get on top of right away.

      Difficulty laying down? Shortness of breath? "Tightness" in the chest or a feeling of fullness all the time???


      • #4
        Sounds like fluid retention to me as well. My husband has had CHF for many years. He is on a diuretic twice a day to help wth his CHF. Also has to stay on an almost no salt diet.

        Be careful with what appear to be "broken blood vessels". There have been times when the swollen feet and ankles have caused a skin infection called cellulitis which has to be treated with antibiotics, and it has to be done fast. It can get into the bloodstream and that is something you don't want to happen.

        Call the doctor asap, whichever one is responsive to the condition. Almost every doctor knows how to diagnose fluid retention and knows how to listen for "crackles" and other abnormal sounds in the chest which would indicate pulmonary fluid retention. And the appropriate help for this problem is also well-known by most doctors.

        This is not something to ignore! Call today. And make sure they take a look at his ankles to see if there is cellulitis present.

        Good luck. Don't delay. If he develops any breathing problems or a cough, or has trouble sleeping, or coughs up reddish phlegm, go to the ER without delay.


        • #5
          Okay! Took him to the doctor!

          Thanks for all of your responses! I took all of your advice and sent Gary to the primary care doctor! She has no idea!!!! She is very very hard to understand - her English is not that well and my husband didnt catch everything she said!! I should have gone - however I was at the hospital with my 8 year old daughter who was undergoing bladder surgery.
          The doctor is sending him for bilateral xrays of both feet because she thinks it could be from bone spurs! He does have pain upon waking in the am so before anything else she wants to rule this out/treat it. Thats all I know for now!! She did say his lungs were clear, heart is ticking - he did have protein in his urine so she is also sending him for a urinalysis. What does protein mean????
          He had the Ross done in 1997 and I am nervous the pulmonary valve is showing signs of needing replacement. He had a st.judes in 2000 and I dont want to go through this again.I am sure he doesnt either!
          Sorry so long - will keep you posted!


          • #6
            From Chris In San B

            Dear ChrisandGary, Hi my name is chris Im 50,I too take coumadin and have noticed also swelling in my ankel and today on the top of my foot and my leg is stiff could be because of my arthritis for the stiffness in my leg but the i think the swelling is from coumadin I get so worried also about this sort of thing everything puts me on alert i try to be calm about it i too had my AVR IN 2000 tht would be a scary experience to have to go thrugh that again take care love chris


            • #7
              Thanks for your reply Chris! It is nice to know there are others out there! My husband had his xrays 1 1/2 weeks ago and we are awaiting the results - of course he had an appointment for this Friday to see our PCP but I received a call today - she decided to take a vacation and wont be in Friday. I am trying to get the results over the phone - what a joke - no one ever calls back. I am very frustrated tonite.


              • #8
                LDS4ME -

                I DOUBT that your foot / ankle swelling is from Coumadin. Most likely FLUID RETENTION as explained by others above.

                In any event, GET IT CHECKED OUT, by your Primary Care Physicial ASAP. If you develop shortness of breath, especially when laying down, go the the ER immediately if your PCP can't see you.



                • #9
                  I have the same problem. I had a MV repair 18 months ago and am 68 years of age. I am a little overweight but physically active. Ankles swell every day, broken blood vessels, skin tightness in the morning. Going to see my PCP in two days. If it is anything of a problem I will post it.


                  • #10
                    I vote for fluid retention. Coumadin may be aggravating it, but not the primary cause.
                    [COLOR="blue"]Tom [/COLOR]
                    [COLOR="red"]BicuspidAV. BactEndocard. AorticVR. PlantarFasc. IngHernias. Crohns. [/COLOR] [COLOR="green"]From couch to 26.2 in 53 weeks! Love to "Tri"[/COLOR]
                    [COLOR="purple"]'Tis Grace that taught my heart to fear and Grace my fears relieved.'[/COLOR]


                    • #11
                      Please get it checked out. Edema is a sign of congestive heart failure and that is not a direction you want to go toward.


                      • #12
                        Instead of going to his PCP, why doesn't he go to his cardio? They are the heart specialists. Just a thought.
                        Joy E. Paulson
                        rhuematic heart disease
                        mitral valvuplasty 01/09/01- Dr. Doug Stewart UWMC
                        MVR 08/27/01-Dr. Edward Verrier UWMC

                        "Remember the good times, don't worry about the bad times, and take each day with stride...


                        • #13
                          Hi I am back (Bob). My PCP said my swelling is fluid retention and he put me on a Diuratic and a return visit in a month. He is concerned, I guess its CHF but dont know. If you havent get to a doctor or cardiologist. ASAP.


                          • #14
                            my husband is sick

                            He had heart disease 15 years ago, now he has CHF, for 2 weeks now he has had swollen feet and ankles. He had bronchitus again and they gave him meds, they upped one of his fluid pills from 40/20, to 80/40, now he takes 80/80 a day.
                            I checked them a little bit ago and they look double the size they did 2 weeks ago, and even from the last few days. ( to the point his toes look like itty bitty sausages at the end of balloons)
                            He goes to the VA clinic, they've taken ex-rays, taken blood work and all, and don't seem to be worried with the swelling, they say cut back on salt, helloooooooooo, we don't use salt at all, unless there's some in something that slipped past us.
                            I'm very worried, he stays in bed more, he gets out of breath more.
                            What can I do to make this clinic fix him?
                            They gave him 5 years to live 15 years ago, so yes, he's on borrowed time.
                            Is there a home remedy we can do?
                            He's on coumidin plus many other pills a day, plus insulin twice a day.
                            Thanks for listening to my whine, (with no crackers and cheese).


                            • #15
                              He needs to get a responsive doctor and right away. It sounds like his congestive heart failure is worsening.

                              There are things that can be done in ALL stages of CHF, and my husband has been in all of them, including kidney failure.

                              So if his current doctor is not doing anything for him, take him to the emergency room and get their opinion and try to find another doctor that will help him.

                              Do this as soon as possible. With symptoms like he is having, there is no time to waste.