A clavicle bone lump can be caused by a variety of conditions. The most common source of a lump over the clavicle bone is a healing bone fracture. Sometimes the lump is a lipoma, or a harmless fatty tumor that settles on top of the collarbone. If the bump is located at either end of the clavicle, it could be caused by damage from osteoarthritis (OA). Certain forms of cancer may cause lumps to develop over the clavicle, so any unidentified bumps should be evaluated by a physician to rule out a serious condition.
Most often, a clavicle bone lump is caused by a poorly healing break in the bone. The development of a small lump over the fracture site is frequently the only symptom of the injury. A clavicle bone fracture can occur during any type of vigorous physical activity or as a result of a fall. Newborn babies may suffer a clavicle fracture during a difficult birth. A baby that will not move one arm or cries when he is picked up should be seen by a doctor for appropriate medical care.
Extensive treatment of a clavicle fracture is typically not necessary for a newborn, and the clavicle will usually heal quickly on its own. Older children and adults may need to wear a sling to immobilize the affected arm and to help the fracture heal faster. Ice and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help relieve any discomfort during the healing process. Compound clavicle fractures can require the surgical insertion of pins to stabilize the bone while it heals.
A small lump over the clavicle may be caused by a tumor formed from fatty tissue. The lump can usually be moved with slight pressure and is not painful. It does not require removal unless it is perceived to be unsightly, and then it can be removed during an outpatient procedure.
Occasionally, a clavicle bone lump is a sign of re-occurring breast cancer. It develops on or near the clavicle, and is later determined to be in one of the lymph nodes. Early evaluation of any lump found on the body can contribute to a favorable prognosis if cancer is later detected.
Another condition that causes a clavicle bone lump is aneurysmal bone cyst. It can be diagnosed after a computerized tomography (CT) scan is taken. Most physicians will recommend the surgical removal of the cyst. If there has not been any re-growth of the aneurismal bone cyst within two years, it is not likely to develop again.
What Are Calcifications on the Collar Bone?
Lumps and bumps can result from old fractures. If someone broke their clavicle in multiple places, calcifications could form at the injury sites. These calcifications can form bulges along the collar bone that are easy to feel or see with the naked eye. These calluses are hard and unmoveable. Since this is where the bone fused back together, it is a normal part of the healing process and not of concern unless it causes pain or discomfort.
How To Recognize a Cyst on Collar Bone
Cysts are sacs filled with fluid that can form on many body parts. These small bumps feel squishy to the touch and have some flexibility. Bone cysts are relatively common and can form directly on the clavicle. Since cysts are easily mistaken for cancerous tumors and swollen lymph nodes, it is essential to have any new growth checked by a specialist.
What Is Lipoma on Collar Bone?
White blood cells work as the immune system's defense unit. These cells will gather in the lymph nodes to fight off infection during an illness. This influx of white blood cells causes swelling, which is ordinary and not a cause for concern.
Sometimes, these lymphocytes multiply uncontrollably, resulting in cancerous lymphoma. A group of swollen lymph nodes above the collar bone is often the first sign of this deadly disease. Patients may also find malignant lymph nodes in the groin, chest or underarms.
How To Recognize a Tumor on Collar Bone
Unlike a cyst, a bone tumor will feel solid and unmoveable. Tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous.) Since many clavicle tumors are malignant, a doctor will need to perform a biopsy to determine whether or not it is cancerous.
What To Expect From a Collar Bone Biopsy
A biopsy will test for cancerous cells in suspicious growths. A needle biopsy or a cut biopsy may be necessary, depending on the situation.
Needle biopsies occur in a medical office and usually only take several minutes to complete. The doctor will numb the area, insert a needle, and remove a few cells for testing.
A physician will perform a cut or punch biopsy if they cannot remove cells via a needle or need a larger sample. The doctor will numb the area, then make a small incision and remove some or all of the lymph nodes.
For issues deep within the bone, a surgical biopsy may be necessary. An anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia to put the patient to sleep for the procedure.
Test results times vary depending on the speed of the lab and type of biopsy taken, but most patients can expect results within a few days.
What To Expect When Removing a Collar Bone Tumor
Tumors can reside deep within the bone, so surgeons must carefully remove tumors under general anesthesia. Rare instances may require the removal of the entire clavicle bone. The surgeon may install a rod in place of the bone for neck and shoulder stability in such cases.