We’ve all heard the term “cankle” but do we really know what it means? Media harps on Hillary Clinton’s cankles and other famous celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson and Katherine Hepburn. "Cankle" is a non-medical slang word to describe the absence of a defined ankle. The calf seems to extend strait down into the foot. As if the world did not have enough body parts to over criticize, we have not moved on to obsess over the size and appearance of our ankles!

A cankle a fully functional ankle and the so called “deformity” has no medical relevance other than self-esteem issues. The cause of cankles is merely due to a focal increase in adipose tissue or fat. It is thus largely associated with overweight individuals, but it is also widely seen in those who are physically fit. There is always that one part of your body that is really hard slim down. While some focus on the abs, thighs, or arms, some athletic individuals have discovered their cankles to be the problems area when trying to slim down.

Did my mom give me cankles?

There does seem to be a family predisposition for the cankle syndrome. Just as some families have big noses or wide ears, some people have the genes for "fat" ankles. There is no medical proof that supports these claims but ask any cankle syndrome survivor and they can tell you their heart filled story on how cankles has stricken their family to wearing long wide-legged pants.

With the recent cankle phenomenon sweeping the nation, gyms and plastic surgeon have developed workouts and treatments to maximize your ankle appearance. The trick with you working out your cankle is to burn fat and thus a high cardio regimen is essential in the work out plan. In addition, defining your leg muscle will also decrease the appearance of the large ankle. Many people admit that the gym does not bring them close to their wanted appearance and have thus taken the road of liposuction.

Podiatrists, foot and ankle surgeons, do not recognize cankle as a medical term but take an increase of ankle size as a very serious matter. If your ankles seem to increase in size throughout the day or you feel as though your lower leg is swelling, this may be a sign of a more serious condition. Cardiovascular and lymphatic diseases can cause increase swelling in the ankles. Trauma or injuries to the ligaments of the joint can also cause local changes to the ankle.

The ankle is a very influential joint in ambulation and pain in this area should never be ignored. If you are worried your ankle size is secondary to a more serious issue, seeking medical attention is not unwarranted.

Got cankles? Be reassured that there are millions across the world battling the fatty ankle. Though you may feel like the only girl in the world who is self conscious about her ankle size, you are among many who avoid short skirts, high heels, and skinny jeans. You may want to discuss possible causes of edema in the lower extremities with your doctor if your ankle size has been increasing over time.