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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

Comments for I have a Golf ball sized soft lump / swelling to my left ankle

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Nov 03, 2019
Have golf ball sized lumps on both outer ankle bones
by: dee

I , too, have golf ball sized lumps on each of my ankles. They grew over the last ten years or so on the outer ankle where the bone protrudes. Soft growths and they do not hurt but when applying pressure I can feel a tingling sensation in my feet. It feels like nerves are being affected. I was told a few years ago that my ankle swelling lumps were just extra fat. They never looked like golf balls at that time ..... more like a somewhat flattened ball. Now they are quite round and very noticeable. When I wear short socks they stick out over the sock. Very embarrassing. I really have no idea what these ankle lumps are and who to see for them. I’d like them to be removed if insurance will pay because socks are too tight, some boots are too tight, and the tingling sensation worries me. If I sleep on my side, I can feel tingling in my foot that’s on the bottom.

Jun 14, 2018
by: Joyce

Hi, I've got the soft ankle lumps on both ankle. Also got soft lump on my bottom of my leg.I'am female .

May 31, 2018
Painful Lumps
by: Susan

I have had two painful lumps, one below each ankle since 2015. A pest control worker came into the house and sprayed pesticide and left a big spill on the floor and did not clean it up and did not warn
me about the danger.

A few days later I noticed that I had these lumps underneath the outside ankles. I went to an ankle specialist and he said he did not know anything about these.

Have yet to find out what they are, but they
hurt a lot and continue to bother me.


Why not have an ultrasound or an MRI (if your insurance company will cover it)?
Marc Mitnick DPM

May 06, 2018
my lumps.
by: Laura

Hi I have replied before but please tell me why every time I show my doctor(s) they come back saying they don't know what they are. Surely these lumps have been around for sometime even years. I would love to know why some if us get them. I have 2 under each outside ankle and 2,3, even 4 around my knees. I hate some them as I can't walk far for the pain in my feet are so bad. and my knees look like they've got water around as well. I'm 64 and have put up with this for about 5 or 6 years and can't put up with it anymore. So please please someone as an answer for all this.

Years ago during my training I was taught that this occurrence, particularly around the ankles is seen in post menopausal women. I do not recall the exact mechanism behind it, but it is usually hormonal in these situations.
If you are concerned about them being more than just lumps, you could ask your doctor to order an ultrasound or MRI for further clarification.

Marc Mitnick DPM

May 02, 2018
by: Anonymous

Hello, how did you go with your surgery in May 2016?? I still have my lumps on my ankles and life is getting worse and worse because of them, they affect absolutely everything and it’s really upsetting and getting me really down now.

Feb 11, 2017
fat ankles
by: Anonymous

I am 63 and have had these these ugly lumps on the outside of my ankles for the last 5 years. They do not hurt at all I forget to ask the doctor each time I visit however I actually believe they are fat deposits of some sort. I am normal weight working on losing a few pounds. I don't wear high heals because of this..but do wear sandals with straps to conceal these lumps..sigh I am wondering if maybe a light stretching strap around my ankle may squeeze them back?? I don't like them but I suppose there are worst things..

Sep 09, 2016
I have lump on left ankle after injury
by: Dawn

I had a scan on my ankle today 20 months after a fall. My ankle swells if I wear heals or walk too long on it. Dr said its fatty tissue but going for mri to investigate further

Aug 10, 2016
by: laura

Hi I've 2 lumps on the outside off both ankles and 2 lumps on each knee and 1 on each leg just below my knees on the inside of my legs. I'm so fed up of them their sore and look ugly. My doctors say I don't know what they are. If love to know what they are.
Hi Laura,
If you are past menopause, then the lumps may be fat deposits which may occur in women, both in the knees and the ankles.
Don't know that there is much you can do about them, other then to see a doctor to confirm that they are harmless.
Marc Mitnick DPM

May 29, 2016
by: Sandy

I have oversized golf ball soft lumps on the outside of both of my ankles. I am a Female and not overweight. I weight 122 lbs. They started off the size of a pea and through the years, about 5 years,
have continued to grow larger and larger.. I have been to 6 (six) Doctors..My primary Doctor..all he said is that is common…Three Podiatrists, One Orthopedic Doctor and a Plastic Surgeon. All told me they would not remove them. They say it is to risky to remove as there are many blood vessels surrounding it and I could possibly develop a blood clot among other problems. One Doctor told me he removed one from a patient of his and he would never ever do another.. They are not painful. Just plain UGLY…

Apr 23, 2016
by: Frustrated in California

Hi, I'm a 52 year old woman with a large lump on both my ankles. The lump on my right ankle is an extra large golf ball in size and very round in shape and protrudes outward a lot. The lump on my left is also large, but it's more oblong shape and slightly less protruding than the lump on my right ankle. Both ankles appear to have an additional mini lump beside the ankle lump toward the achilies. Both my lumps are not friendly so to speak as they are both painful and interfere with wearing shoes. I can only wear flip flops, uggs and a low sided pair of sketchers. I would say they grew semi fast. I'm getting them removed next month(May 2016) at the same time. This should be fun. Not. I am looking forward to my ankles not hurting anymore and to be able to wear my shoes again. I'm also curios what exact type of lipoma/cyst/tumor they end up being and if they are hereditary. I don't recall anyone in my family (4 generations) having anything like this. I've had in the past two ganglion cysts removed, one on my right wrist and one between my left leg and my hip on the front; a giant cell tumor removed off my left pinky finger 3 times and I currently have a baker's cyst behind my left knee. And no I'm not joking. I wonder if those cysts and tumors coupled with the lumps on my ankles make me prone to continue to get lumps/cysts/tumors in the future.
Frustrated in California

Mar 08, 2016
Ankle lumps
by: Anonymous

Hi I've got exactly the same thing and surgeons keep telling me it's really bizarre and they've never seen it before. I'm wondering if you still have your lumps or if you've had them removed? I'm afraid of having them removed but life is so hard with them. Would absolutely love to hear back from you and to hear how you're going with it all. I feel quite alone with it and hide my ankles all the time so people can't see I've got them.

May 15, 2015
Lumps on my or next to my ankles
by: Anonymous

hello I'm a female & I have two knots. One on each ankle. It doesn't hurt & I have had them for 24 yrs. I thought could have came from my job. Since I work on the railroad & I'm up & down on the trains. I want to remove them. But I don't know what type of doctor to go to. I'm in NY. Could you help.

A podiatrist or orthopedist should be able to take care of your problem.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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