In this article, we will explain the cankles in detail, and we will also draw a comparison between the cankles and normal ankles.

So, if you, too, desire to see the detailed information about cankles, then this article is a must-see for you. After going through the article, you will be able to distinguish cankles vs. normal ankles clearly.

What are cankles?

Cankles is slang formed after combining two words, “calf” and “ankles.” It refers to a medical issue where the calf does not slim down towards the ankle. The flesh mass in the legs looks similar from the calves to ankles like a cylinder. Some also name this slang word the “sausage legs.”

When excessive fats deposit in the ankles, the calves do not become progressively smaller towards the ankle’s end. In this medical disorder, one or maybe both ankles get enlarged and swollen. The calves and ankles attain the same size making it difficult to differentiate between them.

Cankles do not pose a serious medical threat as long the victim does not observe severe swelling in the legs.

Why do I have cankles?

People have cankles when the fat cells accumulate at the ankles, and the natural taper of the calf expands. Cankles or swollen ankles may be due to edema (fluid retention) or excess weight gain. Diabetes, cardiac disorders, kidney problems, poor blood circulation, and lack of exercise can also lead to cankles.

Swelling in the ankles is more common in pregnant women due to hormonal changes. Excessive salt intake can also cause fluid retention in the legs, resulting in cankles formation.

Cankles may also transfer from the parents to offspring through genetics. Inherited cankles are normal and do not create any medical deformity.

What causes cankles?

Some factors can cause cankles and make the lower legs look swollen due to undefined calves.


Genetics is one of the significant factors behind the swollen ankles in some people. It is an inheritable medical disorder that can transfer from one generation to another.

Genetics influences the fat accumulation between the calves and ankles. Consequently, we are more likely to develop cankles if our ancestors or parents have them.


Obesity is what stops you from living a healthy life. Excess weight gain causes a lot of health issues and diseases. It is also the main reason behind the fatty appearance in the lower legs.

An obese person is more likely to develop cankles because of the more fats that store between the ankles and calves. The large-sized fat cells form swollen ankles.

Uncontrolled and unhealthy food leads to obesity. Lack of exercise is another reason that makes one put on more weight and become obese. Moreover, women may also gain weight after pregnancy.

Heart and Liver Problems

Heart diseases and liver problems can also cause cankles. Heart and liver disorder results in fluid retention in the body.

When the liquid remains in the legs, it causes swollen ankles.

How to get rid of cankles?

We can reduce and cure the swollen ankles by observing the following things.

Weight Loss

We can get rid of the swollen ankles by losing some ounces of weight. A controlled diet and daily workout can help in reducing weight and treating the cankles.

Some practical exercises to reduce cankles:

Physical exercises play a vital role in slimming down and losing weight. But exercising blindly without marking the area we want to reduce is insane. Therefore, we need first to target the body part that needs to be diminished and exercise accordingly.

Following are some striking exercises that can do wonders in improving the appearance of lower legs by reducing the cankles.

Rope Jumping
Seated calf raises
Weighted calf raises

Healthy Diet

Food products rich in sodium and starch and sugar may cause fluid retention all over the body. The liquid retaining in the body eventually ends up forming cankles.

The victims can prevent and treat the swollen ankles by staying away from the starchy and sugary food products. They should also reduce the salt intake in our diet because they contain sodium elements.

Nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats are excellent for treating swollen ankles. Therefore, patients should include these micronutrients in their diet for fast recovery from cankles.

Medical Treatment

It is not convenient to get rid of cankles or swollen ankles. Sometimes it becomes difficult to treat cankles even with a healthy diet, physical workout, and weight loss. In that case, the doctors may recommend surgery to treat and reduce cankles.

The doctors suggest a surgery known as Liposuction if the cankles are formed by the fats deposited in the lower legs.

Medicinal Changes

Intake of medicines for different medical issues like diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, depression, etc., can cause hormonal changes in the body.

Therefore, the legs seem swollen and develop cankles due to the changes in hormones.

What is cankle liposuction?

Cankle liposuction is a surgery in which the surgeons extract the excess fats from the lower legs to reduce cankles. They cut off the extra fats accumulated between the calf a and ankle.

The patient wraps his legs in a compression garment for a few weeks for the healing period after the surgery. Initially, the patients must perform light exercises such as walking and slight leg movements.

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