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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
I have a Golf ball sized soft lump / swelling to my left ankle
I have a golf ball sized swelling / lump, on my left ankle. There is also a slight swelling to my right ankle. I have had these for a couple of years, infact I've never had slim ankles, they have always been thickset, but this lump is quite noticeable, to the extent that I have to wear boots, no matter how warm the weather, as I'm too self concious to wear shoes. I know people look at me when I go out in hot weather with boots on, but I'd rather they look at me as if I'm just a crazy person, than they see this lump, it's like an appendage. At times it aches, and feels stiff at times when I move my ankle in a circular motion. My feet are constantly cold, which is the excuse I use when people ask me why I have boots on when everyone else are wearing sandals.I've tried wearing a compression type bandage to cover it up, so I can wear shoes, and just feign an injury, but it looks worse, and draws more attention to it. I've tried diruretics, with no difference being made. A friend of mine some years ago had somehting similar, and she had to have it removed. I think it was a ganglion cyst, but I can't afford to take the time off work, as she was off for 6 weeks. The lump gets bigger in hot weather, and aches even more.It's really impacting on me, as I have to be so mindful of what I wear at all times, so no one sees it. I hate warm weather, and just pray for the summer to be wet and cool, so I can get away with wearing boots. Is there
anything I can do to try reduce this lump? I always try to elevate my legs when I'm home, again, to no avail. I would be grateful for any advice.
It would be nice to know if you are male or female, but I am guessing female. This condition is more prevalent in women and that is the reason for my "guess".
I will assume that these lumps are on the outside of your ankles and I will also assume that they do not hurt.
The most common cause of these unsightly lumps are usually fat deposits that occur in postmenopausal women. Some women will also get these on the inside of their knees. Other than being unsightly, they are harmless.
Having said that, there are instances where these lumps could be more than just fatty deposits. There is always the possibility that they are lipomas which are benign fatty tumors. There is also the possibility that they are ganglion cysts but the chances of developing one in each ankle at the same time, seems fairly remote to me.
And, of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the rare possibility of some other kind of tumor, but again I find it hard to imagine two tumors growing at the same time.
The best advice I could give you would be to see a doctor to determine whether or not there is any need for concern. Secondly, even though no one has ever asked me, I suppose even if it is just fatty deposits, you could have them removed. If this is a situation that is adversely affecting the quality of your life, then having the problem corrected should certainly be a consideration.
Marc Mitnick DPM
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Penn State Medical Center
National Institutes of Health
Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation
Stanford Health Care
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Institute for Chronic Pain
University of Florida Health
American Family Physician
University of Maryland Medical Center