Q&A with Dr Duncan Jefferson
Hi Dr Duncan.
My question is in regards to options available for my ankles. I suffer for large ankles and am looking for a solution. I am considering plastic surgery? but do not know where to start. I suffer from factor 5 leiden blood disorder with a mild protein S deficiency. This was found when I was admitted to hospital with a DVT in my left leg, this has resulted in the left ankle being a little larger than the right - both are large though, I wear the pressure stockings but this does not assist. I am 31 years old. Your advice would be appreciated.
"Large" ankles can often be a hereditary problem and one where plastic surgery may cause more problems than benefits. Many people have "thick bones", and the ankle is nearly all bone with a covering of skin over the top. The other major structures in the ankle are the long tendons which travel from their muscular origin in the calves, and which move the foot and the toes - and neither tendon or bones will benefit from any form of cosmetic surgical intervention.
Overlying all this is the skin and subcutaneous fat which can be "thickened" by a build up of fluid caused by things such as a DVT or varicose veins: and the best option for this is compression stockings - which you are already using.
You might benefit from a review by a Vascular Surgeon who will be able to assess your circulation and see if the "swelling" is caused by a build up of fluid: they would also be able to see if you have varicose veins and give you appropriate advice. And if they are unable to help, they may well be able to point you towards someone can.
Of course, healthy eating and being physically active will help - it may not make your ankles any smaller, but you will feel a whole lot better anyway.
Wishing health and success.
Dr Duncan Jefferson