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Hard painful lump below knee cap. What could be causing this?

Answered by
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 10507 Questions

Posted on Thu, 14 Feb 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have a hard bony lump about 5cm below my knee cap, under my knee joint, on front of tibia. It hurts when I press it and throbs painfully at night. I have been having pain in that area of my leg for over 6 months. I first noticed the lump a few weeks ago. It has not been there previously. It doesn't seem to be related to movement of my knee joint, but pain increases on increased weight bearing. I have also, on further inspection, now noticed a large swelling at the rear of my knee, felt mostly when
My leg is completely straight. This lump is firm but not bony. Am waiting for a non urgent X-ray but pain in my leg becoming unbearable. Should I press for a more urgent assessment?

I am also currently being investigated for undiagnosed abdominal pain and fatigue.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 21 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
The lump below your knee cap is likely to be related to a tendon swelling or an inflammation of the bursae around the knee. This is usually related to the inflammation around the tendon or its sheath causing the pain.
The large swelling at the back of your knee could be related to a knee effusion or a soft tissue swelling like lipoma.
Since the pain in your leg is becoming unbearable now, it is best to ask for an urgent assessment. Meanwhile you can take a mild pain killer like acetaminophen and do a hot fomentation in the area to decrease the inflammation.
I hope this answers your query.
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.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal 8 hours later
Thank you. If it is soft tissue damage as you suggest, will it be visible on X-ray? What further imaging can I request for confirmation of diagnosis?

If it is some kind of bone tumour of some kind (it is a very hard, bony almost pointy lump) will it be seen on X-ray?

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 8 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
A bony swelling or tumor will be seen on an X-ray.
The soft tissue swellings are best diagnosed on MRI scan. You can request for one for proper diagnosis.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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