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Lump on back of knee. Ultrasound said varicose vein, painful when touched. When will it heal?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
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24 year old female. No major health issues. Just under two weeks ago I had a tender marble-sized lump appear on the back of my right knee. I could not remember getting injured in that area but I was moving around a lot playing with a young child and could have bumped it. I immediately to urgent care they said it could be a broken blood vessel but sent me to the ER to rule out DVT because I am on birth control and recently flew (3 hour flight). I went to the ER and they did an ultrasound of my leg and said that it was a "varicose vein" and that they did not see any clotting. Over time it has changed- a huge bruise has appeared and the lump has decreased in size but is in the middle of the bruise and is skin colored (white). As of now there the lump is a perfect circle a little smaller than a quarter in the middle of a bruise that is purplish and about the size of my fist (I have small fists though). The lump is painful when pressed upon and has not gone down in size since the second day. My feet are usually pretty cold but I have noticed that my right foot is a little colder than the left. I also sometimes get tingling in my right hand and foot since this issue started. No redness, no warmth. I am just concerned because of the lump- I don't know what it is and when it will get better. I called my PCP and they said they couldn't get me in for a week.
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

The lump on the back of your knee is most likely a collection of blood - hematoma after a venous swelling. The skin color changes that you have noticed are due to the degenerative changes in the collected blood.

The pressure it is producing on the adjacent nerves and vessels is causing the tingling and pain. If the swelling is not increasing in size and is not tender then most likely it will subside gradually over 2-3 weeks.

Doing a cold sponging will help in decreasing the size of swelling.

You need to consult a physician for proper examination and investigations like coagulation profile in case the swelling increases in size or becomes tender.

I hope this answers your query effectively. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you good health.

Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Lump on back of knee. Ultrasound said varicose vein, painful when touched. When will it heal? 3 hours later
Dr. XXXXXXX Tayal,

Thank you so much for your response. In your response you noted that "if the swelling is not increasing in size and is not tender then most likely it will subside gradually over 2-3 weeks," my concern is that the lump itself is very tender when pressed upon. The bruising is not, but the flesh-colored lump is still very tender almost 2 weeks out. Is this normal? Thank you!

XXXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 5 hours later
Hello.

Thanks for writing again.

The tenderness of the lump might be due to the underlying inflamed vein or an infection. It is not normal to have a persistent tenderness.

A direct examination will help in differentiation. Systemic antibiotics may be needed to control the infection.

Hope my answer is helpful. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wish you good health.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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