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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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I found your website and articles most interesting.


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(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


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Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

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(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

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Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


(location unknown)
First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


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Dear doubt you get positive comments re your site...May I please be added to the list of your admirers. In all of my years of web surfing I would say your site is right there with the very best. Thank you for taking the time to write the terrific info you provide and for putting things into laymen terms for us mere mortals. I pray you have much on going success and thank you again for a deed well done. As for me I did not find much help for my symptoms and will continue on my quest. Were you anywhere in the South I would make and appointment...Thanks again dear sir...m.e.

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Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



Dear Dr.Mitnick

I usually do my research on the Mayo clinic website. I think your website is the most informative site I have found when researching foot pain.

I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


Dragica W.


....I have been told that it is not hard enough to be cut off. Please help, I am not sure what to do now! THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL AND VERY HELPFUL SITE!


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You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

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Mansfield Ctr, CT

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Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

Ric J.

Unknown location

I greatly admire someone like you who would donate and dedicate so much time and effort to helping strangers with no compensation. Truly, it is uncommonly kind. And your site is so intelligently arranged.

Ron R.

Pacific Grove, CA

I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


Alameda, California

By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


Thank you for your very interesting and informative site!


Hi. I come to your site often looking for information. It is really informative and I appreciate it very much. I have RA and have been having considerable amount of foot pain...... Dee RN

Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site.


New Zealand

Thank You for my answer! I have been schedule for a bone density scan, allingment, and I am in the process of getting orthotics made, and checking out the natural remedies. Thank again! What a great web site!



Yes I want both pair of orthotics. You don't have an option of ordering 2 at one time so I had to place the order twice. Thanks. My husband likes these and wants to put them in all of his shoes. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Cindy H.

I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


Thank you so much for your response. I will let you know how I am doing if you would like. Your website is awesome!


South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


unknown location

...Thanks for your fantastic service.


Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

Great insights! Thanks Doc, you're the best.


location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


location unknown

Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


location unknown

Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


location unknown

Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


location unknown

Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

Russ W.

location unknown

Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


location unknown

Thank you very much for the information, I will consider it. Excellent web site.


San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


Albany, NY

Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

location unknown



Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


location unknown
Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


location unknown

Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

location unknown
Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

location unknown

I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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