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Can a bruise on back of forearm with a lump turn into a blood clot ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I am 57 years old, am 5'6", and 140 lbs. Due to arthritis, I'm taking NSAIDS. Yesterday, I noticed a bruise on the back of my forearm, with a lump in the middle. I don't recall bumping myself. Ten years ago, I developed a blood clot in the same arm, following surgery. Do you think this could also be a blood clot?
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 5 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

A bruise happens because of trauma when blood from the ruptured capillaries (small blood vessels)near the skin's surface escapes by leaking out under the skin.

Based on your symptoms, a few possibilities need to be ruled out which can cause a sudden bruise without any trauma. These include:

1) Anemia and deficiency of vitamins C, K, B12, or folic acid.
2) Bleeding and clotting defects.
3) Liver disease.
4) Any malignancy including Hodgkin's disease and leukemia.

It is common for a blood clot to develop after surgery but it is also possible for a blood clot to develop spontaneously when there is any thrombus formation. To confirm the diagnosis of blood clot, D dimer test can be done. It is a chemical that is released by blood clots as they start to disintegrate.

If this blood test is normal, then a blood clot is not present. Alternately you can also get an ultrasound of the area or a color Doppler of the area done. I sincerely advise you to consult a hematologist and also get your coagulation profile and liver function tests investigated. You also need a complete blood count and platelet count and levels of vitamin C, K B12 and folic acid.

Till then eat a healthy diet and take iron supplements for some days.

Hope this answers your query.

If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.


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