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Sports Medicine

Hard lump below knee cap

05/27/2008

Question:

Several weeks ago I fell while walking my dog. I landed hard on both knees on concrete. The knees bled, but now I have developed a large lump on the left knee. It is not painful, but very noticeable. Should I be concerned?

Answer:

Since this lump has been present for several weeks, and unless you've noticed it's gradually going away on its own, you may wish to consult with your physician who can examine your knee. Although the cause of this lump cannot be determined over the Internet, if it is hard, there could be a "foreign body" (such as a piece of dirt or glass) embedded in the skin over your knee which could cause a "foreign body reaction" where a sort of callus builds up around it. Alternatively, if the lump is somewhat soft, this could be due to bursitis, or a fluid collection beneath the skin overlying the kneecap (or over the tendon below the knee cap). The most appropriate treatment would depend on the diagnosis.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University