Most people may think that the formation of a lump on the collarbone can be quite distressing. The collarbone is a thin and long bone that links the shoulder to the chest. It is generally smooth and can be found just beneath the surface of the skin. This can make the detection or observation of a lump on the collarbone fairly easy and doable. This lump on the collarbone can be a sign of a serious condition, an infection, or an injury. Individuals may have a general idea of what caused the lump, or it could have appeared out of nowhere. There several factors that cause this lump on the collarbone such and in this article, we will look at these various possible causes. Read on to find out more!
Lump on Collarbone: Causes
A collarbone that is injured can have a severity range that can run from mild to severe. The collarbone links to the shoulders and is from dislocation from the joints of the shoulders. The collarbone may also be broken or fractured because the bone is near the top portion or surface of the skin. The said injuries can occur if the individual experiences trauma or if the person is into sports or other athletic activities. Due to this, the person may experience problems in having the arm moved upward, swelling, and pain. Teens and children are more prone to this kind of injury as the collarbones mature once individuals reach the age of 20. Older adults may also be at risk for such injuries due to weaker bone density.
2. Swollen lymph nodes
The body contains 600 lymph nodes in it and can help the body in filtering foreign substances and unwanted bacteria the body as well as helping in the ensuring that white blood cells (WBCs) are properly circulated. These white blood cells can also aid in fighting off illnesses and infections.
Lymph nodes can start swelling if the body becomes injured or if the individual is fighting off an illness or some other infection. This is due to the body transporting more white blood cells to the lymph nodes to help fight off the problem. This condition can lead to the development of a lump or swelling near or on the collarbone. It is best to seek medical assistance if this swelling does not go away after several weeks so that the doctor can rule out other possible conditions that may be severe or serious.
A collarbone lump may also be a cyst. These cysts are sacs that are filled with fluid and occur under the skin. These cysts can be hard when pressed from the surface of the skin but they are commonly not a sign of anything serious and are not harmful on their own.
The collarbone lump that one has can also be a tumor. These can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). For malignant tumors, the doctor needs to have the tumor monitored and further evaluated. A majority of tumors that are benign are classified as lipomas. These are tumors that are fat-filled and will show up over an extended period commonly after months or years. They can feel squishy and soft if they are touched, but they will mostly be pea-sized or small. The largest tumors are sized almost as big as a quarter (even smaller). Another form of tumor is called a bone tumor with the said cancer rarely developing in the clavicle. A rare kind of tumor that can develop or show up in the collarbone is called the aneurysmal bone cyst. These kinds of tumors will commonly happen to teens and children and can either be cancerous or benign.
A lump on the collarbone can also be an indicator that the individual is suffering from an infection. One form of infection that targets the collarbone is referred to as osteomyelitis. This condition though is not that common when it comes to it occurring in the clavicle. The spreading of the infection can also occur from the collarbone into the blood or the tissues.
Possible Treatment Options for Lump in the Collarbone
Breaks, fractures, and injuries to the collarbone will require several different treatments such as:
- Ice compress
- Pain reliever medication
- Arm brace or a sling
Swollen lymph nodes
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. If the condition is due to an infection, then antivirals or an antibiotic might be the way to go. If the swelling lymph nodes are caused by something more severe, then more aggressive treatments need to be applied.
Collarbone cyst may require minimal treatment. These cysts can resolve on their own without the need for any medical assistance, but there will times when the doctor may recommend the draining of the cyst.
Depending on the case, it will be treated based on what is causing the tumor itself. Most likely, the healthcare professional will have the tumor undergo a biopsy to check if the tumor is malignant or benign. This can help the healthcare professional in determining which option is best and appropriate for the patient.
For infections, it can be treated using antibiotics. The infection may also be found in the bone in which case, more aggressive interventions are required.