Hard knee lump quiz
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Are you experiencing a hard bump on the knee? Read more below to learn about six possible causes, questions your doctor may ask about your symptoms, and more.
9 most common causes
6 causes of a hard knee lump
Warts, also called common warts or verrucae, are small, rough, rounded growths on the top layer of the skin. They may appear singly or in clusters.
Common warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and are contagious through direct contact, especially through a break in the skin. They may spread from one place on the body to another simply through touch.
Anyone can get warts but they are most common in anyone with a weakened immune system, as from illness or chemotherapy. Children and teenagers are also susceptible to warts.
Warts often first appear on the hands and fingers, especially near the nails or after any injury to the skin. This is why biting fingernails is a risk factor for warts.
Warts are benign, meaning they are not cancerous. But they can be unsightly and interfere with normal use of the hands, so treatment is often beneficial.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination. Warts in children sometimes go away without treatment, but otherwise most warts can be easily removed in a doctor's office.
Synovial chondromatosis is a disease affecting the synovium, which is a thin flexible membrane around a joint. It can often be confused with tendinitis and/or arthritis.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: joint swelling, pain in one knee, pain in one hip, swollen knee, spontaneous knee pain
Symptoms that always occur with synovial chondromatosis: joint swelling
Symptoms that never occur with synovial chondromatosis: fever, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, warm red ankle swelling, warm red knee swelling, warm and red elbow swelling
Urgency: Primary care doctor
A cyst is a small sac or lump, filled with fluid, air, fat, or other material, that begins to grow somewhere in the body for no apparent reason. A skin cyst is one that forms just beneath the skin.
It's believed that skin cysts form around trapped keratin cells – the cells that form the relatively tough outer layer of the skin.
These cysts are not contagious.
Anyone can get a skin cyst, but they are most common in those who are over age 18, have acne, or have injured the skin.
Symptoms include the appearance of a small, rounded lump under the skin. Cysts are normally painless unless infected, when they will be reddened and sore and contain pus.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination. A small cyst can be left alone, though if it is unsightly or large enough to interfere with movement it can be removed in a simple procedure done in a doctor's office. An infected cyst must be treated so that the infection does not spread.
Top Symptoms: skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump
Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst: skin-colored armpit bump
Urgency: Wait and watch
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of a mole. Most s have a black or black-blue area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. It may be black, abnormal, or "ugly looking."
You should visit your primary care physician. Surgery is the first treatment of all stages of melanoma. Other treatments include chemotherapy and radiation, biologic, and targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.
A dermatofibroma is a fairly common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but may appear anywhere on the body. These mole-like growths are benign (noncancerous.)
The cause is not known, though a dermatofibroma may appear after a minor injury. The growths are not contagious.
Dermatofibromas are most common in adults and are rarely found in children.
Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, or brown and less than half an inch across. They are usually painless but may be tender or itchy, and may appear alone or in groups.
Any new growth on the skin should be seen by a medical provider, especially if the growth is very dark in color or changes its shape or appearance quickly.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes biopsy.
A dermatofibroma does not require treatment unless it is interfering with clothing or is unsightly. They can be surgically removed, though this will leave a scar and the growth may eventually return.
Deep vein thrombosis
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep in the body, usually in the lower leg or thigh. DVT can cause swelling, pain, and redness in the affected leg. Some of the risk factors for developing DVT include obesity, pregnancy, cancer, surgery, and previous history of blood clots.
You should consider calling your primary care or urgent care provider. Deep vein thrombosis can be evaluated with a review of your symptoms, a physical exam, and an ultrasound. A blood test may also be performed. Once diagnosed, DVT can be treated with blood-thinning medication, which is usually taken for three months.
Top Symptoms: fever, thigh pain, upper leg swelling, calf pain, butt pain
Urgency: Hospital emergency room
Benign bony growth (osteochondroma)
An osteochondroma is a non-cancerous growth that usually develops during childhood or adolescence. It is a benign tumor that forms on the surface of a bone near the growth plate.
You should visit your primary care physician for X-Ray evaluation. In most cases this condition is treated by careful observation over time to make sure the tumor does not grow. Surgery is considered if the osteochondroma causes pain, puts pressure on a nearby nerve or blood vessel, or has a large cap of cartilage.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: lower leg bump, upper leg bump, numbness in one thigh, painful thigh lump, hip bump
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common kind of skin cancer. It can develop almost anywhere on the body. It appears as abnormal spots or bumps on the skin. These bumps are often pink, red, or skin-colored and sometimes have a shiny surface. The main risk factor for developing this condition is prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sun exposure and tanning beds are both sources of UV radiation. People with a history of sunburns, previous skin cancer, and a weakened immune system are at higher risk for this condition.
Most cases of BCC can be easily treated because they grow slowly. Though if not treated, it can spread inside the body. Your provider will do a skin exam and possibly skin sample test, known as a biopsy. Treatment will depend on where the cancer is, its size, and your medical history. Some treatment options include cutting out the bump, freezing it, or using medicated skin cream.
Moles are growths on the skin. They happen when pigment cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in clusters. Certain moles are considered "atypical" because of their size and characteristics, which require careful watching and possibly even biopsy in order to monitor for development into cancer. Atypical moles, also called dysplastic nevi deserve more attention than normal moles.
You should go see your primary care doctor to examine the mole. He or she can determine if next steps are necessary.
Questions your doctor may ask about hard knee lump
To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:
- What color is the bump?
- Do you feel pain when you touch the bump?
- Is your bump getting bigger?
- Is there anything on the surface of the bump?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
Hard knee lump symptom checker statistics
People who have experienced hard knee lump have also experienced:
- 29% Knee Pain
- 5% Swollen Knee
- 3% Pain In The Outside Of The Knee
People who have experienced hard knee lump were most often matched with:
- 100% Synovial Chondromatosis
People who have experienced hard knee lump had symptoms persist for:
- 39% Over a month
- 25% Less than a week
- 15% Less than a day
Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.
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