What is an ankle lump?
An ankle lump is a protuberance or localized area of swelling in the ankle. Other general terms used to describe ankle lumps include ankle bump, nodule, contusion, tumor or cyst.
Ankle lumps can occur in one or both ankles at a time. Depending on the specific cause, you may have a single or multiple ankle lumps. They can also be soft or firm, painful or painless, and may grow rapidly or may not change in size. Ankle lumps can occur in any age group or population.
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Lumps in the ankle can be caused by any number of conditions, including infections, inflammation, tumors and trauma. Many ankle lumps are the result of traumatic causes. The ankles are vulnerable to trauma because of their proximity to the ground and their role in walking, running and jumping. Traumatic causes of ankle lumps and bumps range from hematomas (a localized collection of blood in the tissues) to ankle sprains and fractures.
Both benign and malignant tumors of the skin and soft tissues can sometimes produce lumps in the ankle. Other causes can include ganglion cysts, which are fluid-filled, sac-like structures that can form in the top of the foot or ankle.
In some cases, ankle lumps can be caused by infection, inflammation, trauma, or other conditions that could become serious, especially left untreated. Seek prompt medical care if you have an unexplained ankle lump, or have been treated for an ankle lump and your condition is not improving.
Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have experienced moderate to severe ankle trauma and have symptoms, such as severe ankle deformity, complete inability to bear weight or walk, severe ankle pain or swelling, or loss of sensation in the foot.
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- Foot, leg, and ankle swelling. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003104.htm.
- Ganglion Cyst. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/ganglion-cyst.htm.
- Skin Rashes and Other Changes. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/545.html.
- Soft Tissue Tumors - Benign. Cedars-Sinai. http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Soft-Tissue-Tumors---Benign.aspx