Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is a rare benign disease of the synovium of joints and tendon sheaths, which may be locally aggressive. We present 18 patients with diffusetype PVNS of the foot and ankle followed for a mean of 5.1 years (2 to 11.8). There were seven men and 11 women, with a mean age of 42 years (18 to 73). A total of 13 patients underwent open or arthroscopic synovectomy, without post-operative radiotherapy. One had surgery at the referring unit before presentation with residual tibiotalar PVNS. The four patients who were managed non-operatively remain symptomatically controlled and under clinical and radiological surveillance. At final follow-up the mean Musculoskeletal Tumour Society score was 93.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 85 to 100), the mean Toronto Extremity Salvage Score was 92 (95% CI 82 to 100) and the mean American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons foot and ankle score was 89 (95% CI 79 to 100). The lesion in the patient with residual PVNS resolved radiologically without further intervention six years after surgery. Targeted synovectomy without adjuvant radiotherapy can result in excellent outcomes, without recurrence. Asymptomatic patients can be successfully managed nonoperatively. This is the first series to report clinical outcome scores for patients with diffusetype PVNS of the foot and ankle.