Why does a bone swell on a leg Causes, symptoms, treatment

The first sign of hallux valgus is an increase in the joint on the finger – a swollen bone in the leg. Orthopedic pathology is more common in women after 30 years, characterized by painful sensations, the inability to wear familiar shoes. The problem is taken for the features of the anatomical structure, a small cosmetic defect, not trying to seek help. When the disease is detected at the initial stages, therapy is limited to conservative methods, and later surgery requires removal of the damaged joint.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Pathology Overview

Changes in the metatarsal of the thumb in the form of thickening are the reason why the bone on the leg swells. In healthy patients, all the metatarsal bones are parallel to each other, a constant load on the problem area provokes a deviation in the thumb area.

The disease leads to a gradual deformation due to constant trauma to improperly selected shoes. Over time, tissue swelling, an acute inflammatory process, forms in the altered zone.


Clinical signs of swollen bone on the leg develop gradually, experts distinguish three stages of the sequential formation of the disease:

At the first stage – after a prolonged load on the foot, patients have hyperemia of the skin and slight swelling. The affected area increases in volume, discomfort is recorded in the middle sections of the phalanges. The valgus angle is less than 15 degrees.

On the second – bone swelling occurs against the background of inflammatory joint damage in the thumb, the defect is constantly present. Aching pain is aggravated by movement, in the area of ​​the thumb dry callus is formed. Due to the increase in bone size, the deviation angle does not exceed 20 degrees.

On the third – the patient is persecuted with constant pain, there is a pronounced swelling of the tissues, keratinization of the skin, the problem captures neighboring fingers. Deviation from the norm exceeds 30 degrees.

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Only at the first stage can therapeutic manipulations reverse the process, all the others require serious help with the use of medications, orthopedic drugs.


The sources of the disease, in which the bone on the leg swells, depend on the type of lesion: the pathology is a one-sided and symmetrical option. Swelling is provoked by various predisposing factors.

The root causes of bilateral lesions, in which the bone swells on the leg:

  1. A long stay in a statistical position, associated with the features of work, lifestyle, impaired normal circulation in the lower extremities, provoked by the uniform daily setting of the legs;
  2. Lack of sports, violation of the requirements on the schedule of work and rest;
  3. Excess body weight, obesity of various degrees, the period of gestation;
  4. Flat feet, improperly selected shoes;
  5. Cancerous lesion of the joint, problems with the work of the kidneys, cardiovascular department, provoking swelling of the tissues of the lower extremities;
  6. Long-term therapy with drugs that violate the water-electrolyte balance, leading to fluid accumulation.

If a bone swells on one leg, then the sources of the problem are:

  • thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, varicose veins, various injuries, gout, hygroma;
  • penetration of infection into the articular apparatus;
  • allergic reactions with inflammation that occur after insect bites.


When contacting the local clinic with a complaint that the bone on the leg is swelling, the patient is sent for an appointment with a traumatologist or orthopedist.

Diagnostic standards are represented by the algorithm:

  • medical history: the patient is asked about the time of the first appearance of unpleasant symptoms, sensations, previous situations (bruises, injuries), a palpation examination is performed;
  • radiographic images – they can clearly see the degree of damage, the level of deformation changes, the location of the focus of inflammation;
  • Ultrasound – the procedure allows you to assess the condition of blood vessels, soft and bone tissues.


Home therapy for swollen bone implies a complex effect on the problem area and the body:

  1. If the problem is provoked by leg fatigue – a good rest, the patient should use a small elevation for the limbs, helping outflow of lymph, getting rid of swelling;
  2. It is allowed to use foot baths with a pharmacy chamomile, sea salt, needles, only in the absence of damage to the skin;
  3. Adjusting the daily menu – reducing the amount of incoming salt, the intake of a sufficient amount of water;
  4. Decrease in indicators of body weight by means of physiotherapy exercises, diet food;
  5. Refusal of narrow shoes with the transition to a free and as comfortable as possible;
  6. Daily contrast shower, foot massage.

Drug direction

If the bone swells with inflammation, certain diseases, with severe pain, then the patient is prescribed a course of conservative therapy:

Local preparations – ointment, gel, cream or liniment are applied to the affected areas.

Medications reduce swelling, relieve fatigue, accelerate the absorption of accumulated fluid. Frequently prescribed medications are presented by Diclofenac, Voltaren Emulgel, Traumeel, Deep Rilif, Olfen, Heparin ointment, Troxevasin, Venitan, Lyoton gel, Fraxiparin.

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Diuretics – are prescribed for unstable functionality of the kidneys, cardiovascular department, accompanied by severe swelling. Drugs help get rid of congestion, therapy is carried out by Furosemide, Veroshpiron, Lasix.

Painkillers – medications can be used in the form of tablets, injection solutions. An antipyric, analgesic effect is achieved by paracetamol, Diclofenac, Ketanov, Ketolong, Dexalgin. Novocainic blockade is carried out with severe pain, damage to nerve endings.

Surgical correction is prescribed in the absence of effectiveness from the use of drug therapy and other drugs. During the procedures, bone calluses, capsules, hygroma are excised, specialized compression tires for orthopedic use are installed in the area of ​​the pathological focus. Not bad results are shown by laser therapy – it is characterized by minimal trauma, an easy postoperative period.

Orthopedic and physiotherapeutic direction

Special proofreaders are used to reduce the load when swelling of the bone on the leg, as well as fractures of the calcaneus, during rehabilitation after surgery.

  • fixing devices on the phalanges;
  • orthopedic inserts, insoles, bandages;
  • set orthoses.

Medical devices are removed before bedtime, for a good rest of the lower extremities. The selection of the necessary orthopedic products is carried out by the attending physician. The use of orthopedic correctors after serious injuries – bruises, falls, fractures is allowed.

Physiotherapeutic procedures are prescribed as additional treatment or during the rehabilitation period after interventions. Common methods include:

  • balneotherapy – procedures based on the use of mineral waters, can be prescribed in the form of general, local baths, showers, oral use;
  • UHF – heat treatment using a high-frequency magnetic field;
  • laser therapy – helps suppress inflammation, improve blood circulation, relieve muscle cramps, has a positive effect on joints;
  • acupuncture – affects the nerve endings, restoring their efficiency, the method has a large number of contraindications, manipulations should be carried out only in a medical institution;
  • applications with paraffin and ozokerite – heat treatment to get rid of the inflammatory process, additional blood flow;
  • electrophoresis – helps to accelerate the absorption of drugs, increasing their effectiveness, with severe pain syndrome Novocain and other analgesics are used as a medication.

Physiotherapy helps to solve the problem of inflammation, swelling of the tissues.


The prevention of situations in which the bone on the leg swells is carried out according to the following recommendations:

  1. Reduce the amount of time wearing high-heeled shoes – comfortable shoes will prevent additional stress on the foot.
  2. Stabilize body weight – every extra kilogram negatively affects the lower limbs and joints. Weight loss is achieved by a specialized dietary table, sports training.
  3. Use orthopedic insoles, liners, daily do gymnastic exercises designed for the legs. An independent foot massage will improve blood circulation in them and prevent stagnation.

Timely seeking professional help will allow you to capture the disease at the initial stages of development, to correct the problem without the need to remove the damaged joint. Patients should not forget that the pathological process is not limited to one thumb – over time, the disease moves to adjacent joints. The outcome of a neglected disease is the impossibility of free movement, disability and subsequent disability.

Anatoly Kudravets

An orthopedic traumatologist is involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pathologies of bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints. He owns the methods of applying gypsum for fractures, correcting acquired or congenital pathologies of the limbs. Anatoly Kudravets specializes in the treatment of various types of injuries: bruises, sprains, fractures, subluxations, dislocations. The doctor deals with the consequences of radioactive, thermal, electrical, chemical lesions.