Journal Information
Vol. 58. Issue 1.
Pages 86 (January 2022)
Download PDF
More article options
Vol. 58. Issue 1.
Pages 86 (January 2022)
Clinical Image
Full text access
Surfers’ Knots: An Uncommon Cause of Chest Wall Masses
Nudos de surfistas: una causa poco común de masas en las paredes de la caja torácica
Pedro Morgan Miguelotea,b, Tatiana Barbassab, Edson Marchioria,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
a Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
b Clínica de Diagnóstico por Imagem (CDPI)/DASA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This item has received
Article information
Full Text
Download PDF
Figures (1)
Full Text

A 34-year-old male surfer presented with the complaint of bilateral palpable masses on the anterior chest wall, which he had first noticed 2 years previously. He had surfed for more than a decade. On physical examination, an elastic mass was palpated on the lower aspect of the right hemithorax (Fig. 1A). Chest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed poorly defined bilateral areas of low signal intensity anterior to the lower ribs on T2-weighted images, more evident on the right side (Fig. 1B). High-frequency (24-MHz) ultrasound in the right-side area revealed a round, ill-defined, hypoechoic mass (Fig. 1C and D). Similar, but less prominent, findings were obtained for the left hemithorax. The right-side mass was excised surgically. Microscopic examination revealed dermal thickening with fibroblastoid proliferation and collagen deposition. The final diagnosis was “surfers’ knots”.

Fig. 1.

(A) Photograph of the patient's chest, showing a round mass in the right hemithorax, anterior to the lower ribs. (B) T2-weighted magnetic resonance image showing the low signal intensity of the lesions (arrows). Ultrasonography of the lower right (C) and left (D) hemithoraces revealed hypoechoic masses (arrows) with surrounding dermal (black asterisks) and subcutaneous (white asterisks) thickening.


“Surfers’ knots”, or surfers’ nodules, are acquired, benign, fibrotic connective-tissue nodules that develop in response to repetitive friction between the patient's body and the surfboard. Typically affected tibial tuberosities, foot dorsa, and chest.1,2 Our patient's lower rib cage had suffered intermittent low-grade trauma against the surfboard during paddling. In most cases, the nodules subside or disappear after interruption of the activity. Unusually, the lesions can become infected, painful, and/or permanent, potentially necessitating surgical excision.1,2 The radiological evaluation allows the diagnosis and it is not necessary, in the appropriate context, to perform more invasive procedures.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to express.

L.J. McManus, A. Thomson, A. Whan.
The magnetic resonance appearance of surfers’ knots: a case report.
Radiol Case Rep, 11 (2016), pp. 201-206
A. Baba, Y. Okuyama, H. Yakabe, S. Yamazoe, Y. Kobashi, T. Mogami.
Surfers’ knots in the anterior chest.
Clin Case Rep, 7 (2019), pp. 597-598
Archivos de Bronconeumología
Article options

Are you a health professional able to prescribe or dispense drugs?