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Child has discomfort in neck area. Lump near spine and neck. Worry over it? What can be done?

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Practicing since : 1997
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My daughter is 2 years old and has some health concerns but about 3 weeks ago she was holding the back of her neck like she had some discomfort. I felt the back of her neck were the spine and neck XXXXXXX and she had a lump. When she bends her neck down it can be felt easier. It didn't seem to bother her after that but then this weekend again she started holding the back of her neck and said "ouch" again. She doesn't talk yet. Is this something I need to worry about? Is it just her spine? I appreciate any help.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 3 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I appreciate your method of looking for lumps. Even many doctors use the same method to assess a lump.

Lumps that are prominent on bending forward and in midline of neck, may be related to neck spine - one of which (the seventh one referred as C7) is really large and can be mistaken for a lump.
The other lumps that come around back of neck are often mobile from up to down and side to side. Such lumps usually are enlarged lymph nodes, at times be a lipoma or a cyst.

As painful spine is unlikely in this age group, so I feel it may most likely be a painful node, which can follow simple issues like haircut, lice, unkept hairs, and at times dermatosis-atopy-scaling of scalp and scalp infection , occasionally may be associated with lumps elsewhere on the body.

Whatever and wherever the lump is, size does matter; large size that are easily felt - if larger than 4cm width and /or does cause some pain should not be left alone. Medical attention is necessary.

It would have helped me be more precise if exact location, size and mobility and if possible colour of lump is available to me (rather a picture may help). You can upload a good quality picture of the affected region here on this webpage. If it is not possible, I encourage you to visit a doctor and get examined for infected node, for which a doctor may start the baby on some antibiotics for 7-10 days.

I feel this answers your query. Let me know if I have missed out on any concerns.

Wish you and your daughter good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has discomfort in neck area. Lump near spine and neck. Worry over it? What can be done? 9 hours later
Hi Dr.
The lump is only felt not seen and when I initially saw it, it was red from her itching it (about 3 and a half weeks ago). It's about the size of a pea and hard (bony) feeling. It's a little below the center of her neck closer to her shoulders than her scull. Do you think it's her spine? Thank you for your quick response.
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 5 hours later
Thanks for your follow up query. if it is in midline, its more likely to be spine if it cant be moved to sides. It might have got painful that time due to some undue stretch or pressure. Thank you for accepting the answer.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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