ZocdocAnswersLump on ankle after two months, what should I do?

Question

Lump on ankle after two months, what should I do?

About two months ago at dance practice I was kicked pretty hard right above my ankle. A bruise came up but was gone within the week, but a knot/lump is still there. It's not visible but it is a little tender and is very easily felt. Do I need to go to a doctor or should it just eventually go away on its own?

Answer

Long term sequelae of trauma to the soft tissues and bone are common, and most are benign though others can be more serious. If you have a new mass that is tender to touch, I recommend that you see your doctor or a healthcare professional for a formal evaluation and testing if needed. Often after an injury due to mechanical force, such as a kick to the leg or more generally an impact by any hard object, there is local trauma to the skin, fat, muscles, and bone, and if over a joint, the ligaments and tendons may also be injured. Depending on the degree of injury, there may be local vascular damage and bleeding under the skin, which is the source of a bruise. This stimulates local inflammation, which allows for increased vascular dilation and migration of white blood cells to the area to promote healing. This process of inflammation leads to the swelling, redness, warmth and increased pain that you experience at the site of injury. Typically within several days to weeks, the inflammation resolves and the local tissues have growth the repair the damaged area. However, sometimes there can be the growth of scar tissue that can be hard, tense, firm and painful. Additionally, there can sometimes be deposits of calcium that also present as firm and sometimes tender to touch. These lesions can improve with time. However, it is important to make sure that other structures such as bones, ligaments and tendons were not injured. These can be formally evaluated by your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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