What have I done to my ankle?
September 17, 2012 7:42 PM   Subscribe

YANAD (or maybe you are), but a few weeks ago I suffered a fall from my horse and now there's a funny bump on my ankle. I will be going to my GP sometime soon but am still curious as to what it may be. Details inside.

So a few weeks ago my horse got a fright at a competition, shied to the right and slipped and fell with me still on him. He came down quite hard on my right leg and immediately I had terrible pain in my right ankle. It only took a few minutes for the pain to subside and I was able to walk on it not along afer that, and the ligaments themselves felt ok so I figured not broken or sprained (I had damaged the ligaments in that ankle earlier this year so it's weak to begin with).

Ever since then the part of my ankle above the inside joint/fibula has been very tender. Even lightly running my finger along it was making it sore. Again I had no pain while walking or riding, so didn't worry too much.

Now I've noticed that I've developed a hard lump in the area. On my left ankle when I run my hand down my leg to the joint, it feels soft skin/muscle. On my right ankle, right as it gets to the tender above the joint it's gone very hard and is sore. Maybe I chipped the bone and didn't notice and it's healed funny?

Again YANAD and I'm not too concerned as this doesn't affect my day-to-day functioning (though maybe I should be), only if I bump the area when walking around without boots on. I'll be going to my GP.
posted by sunshine arakhan to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
It could be a ganglion cyst? You could try putting a flashlight to it to see if it's fluid filled. You're right, it doesn't sound like a fracture (or chipped bone) since you were able to bear weight on it after a few minutes.
posted by slomodinkens at 7:56 PM on September 17, 2012

Response by poster: I'm not sure about a cyst as it's not a big, protuding lump. You can't really tell just looking at my ankle that anything is there, but when you run your hand over there is a definite 'build up' of something below the skin.
posted by sunshine arakhan at 8:35 PM on September 17, 2012

IANAD, IANYD, etc, etc. I am curious about the broad generalities that you are using to describe time. You describe the fall as "...a few weeks ago...." You will see the doctor "...sometime soon...." For the sake of argument, let's say it has been about a month since your horse fell on you. This is about the length of time it would take for calcium to build up around a chip in the bone. I would have expected some swelling at the point of the injury the day after the fall, but maybe you didn't notice it.

I don't see a ganglion cyst as you describe it as a hard lump. I'm assuming that means it is not squishy and does not move back and forth. Again, this seems like a calcification. You do need to have a doctor look at it just to rule out any serious lasting injury. Having spent decades around horses, I believe any injury caused by a fall from or collision with a horse (or horse part) deserves a trip to the doctor.
posted by Old Geezer at 8:39 PM on September 17, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you Old Geezer. It would be maybe 4 weeks since the fall, and unfortunately due to work it's going to be at least a week before I can see a doctor, hence my vague timelines. There was some swelling at the area but the fall injured my neck so I have been going through physiotherapy for that, and now that I am getting on top of that pain it's only recently I have noticed what's happening with my ankle. Thanks very much for your clarification though.
posted by sunshine arakhan at 8:55 PM on September 17, 2012

I'm a doctor, and I'm not sure what the lump is, but I don't think it's likely to be your bone given the circumstances. and I'm going to go ahead and disagree with Old Geezer - whether or not you should see a doctor has to do with how serious the injury is, not what caused it. Certainly you can get very seriously injured around horses, but that doesn't mean every horse induced injury is serious. People fall off horses every day and get regular old bruises, contusions, hematomas, strains, and sprains. Some of them see their doctor and some of them don't, but if there's only mild pain and no other concerning symptoms, I think most lay people would find it prudent to give it a few days or a week and see if it heals on its own before going to a physician. Rest, ice, compress, elevate (RICE) and over the counter pain medications can heal many minor injuries.... anyway the OP has done this and the trouble has persisted, so certainly at this point, it's fair to see someone about it.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:14 PM on September 17, 2012

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