What Is Lump In The Arm?
Any protuberance or localized swelling which occurs in any area of the arm is termed as Lump in the Arm.1 A Lump in the Arm has been called by different names like bump, nodule, tumor, cyst, contusion etc. A Lump in the Arm can be caused due to an infection, inflammation, direct trauma, or a tumor which can be benign or malignant. Based on the cause of the lump in the arm, they can be single or multiple, painful or painless, tender or nontender. If an infection is causing a Lump in the Arm then it will appear as boils or an abscess. Certain infections cause the lymph nodes to enlarge making them look like bumps. Certain traumatic injuries like being hit on the arm or a fall on the arm may also cause formation of a lump in the arm. Certain bug bites are also responsible for formation of lumps in the arm. Tumors both benign as well as malignant cause formation of lumps in the arms, same is true for cysts in the arms. Cysts can be present at the time or birth or can form due to infection or inflammation or due to normal wear and tear. A medical condition known to be associated with formation of arm lumps is rheumatoid arthritis. Lumps in the Arm that are caused due to trauma or inflammation resolve on its own and are self limiting whereas lumps that are formed due to tumors or cysts may require surgical excision.
What Can Cause A Lump In The Arm?
There are many causes for formation of arm lump in an individual. Some of the causes of lumps in the arm are direct trauma, infection, inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, cysts and tumors, as well as cancers.1
Lump In The Arm Caused By Trauma: if an individual gets hit by a ball on the arm, falls on the ground on the arm, or injures the arm during some activities may result in formation of a lump in the arm as a result of fracture or hematoma. Other potential traumatic causes of lumps in the arms are bug bites.
Lump In The Arm Caused By Infectious Diseases: Any infection in the arm may result in the formation of boils or abscess or enlargement of lymph nodes. Some of the infectious causes of Arm Lumps are:
Lump In The Arm Caused By Inflammatory Diseases: Some inflammatory diseases than can cause lumps in the body are:
Lump In The Arm Caused By Tumors: Both benign as well as malignant tumors can cause Lumps in the Arms. Certain medical conditions that can cause lumps in the arm are:
- Nonmelanoma skin cancers.
Some Of The Serious Causes Of Lumps In The Arm Are:
- Presence of abscess with spreading infection
- Fractured Bone
- Joint Dislocation.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Associated With Lump In The Arm?
The symptoms produced due to a lump in the arm vary based on the underlying cause of the lump. An arm lump may be present along with the following symptoms:
- Bleeding or bruising
- Discharge from the lump
- Redness and erythema
- Pain over the lump
- Joint stiffness with pain
- Weight loss
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Reddish streaks extending up the arm.
How To Diagnose Arm Lump?
In order to confirm the cause for Arm Lump or Lump in the Arm, the treating physician will ask the following questions:
- How Long Has The Lump In The Arm Been Present?
- What Are The Symptoms Being Experienced By The Individual?
- Is There Any Change In The Size Of The Lump In The Arm?
- Is The Individual Experiencing Any Pain With Touching The Lump?
- Are There Any Lumps Present Anywhere Else In The Body?
How Is Lump In The Arm Treated Or Removed?
If the lump in the arm is caused by a trauma or inflammation then it does not require any treatment and it resolves on its own. If the arm lump is caused due to a benign cyst or tumor then also it may not be removed and treated conservatively unless it is embarrassing for the individual and the protrusion is a little too big. Surgery may also be considered if there is a compression of surrounding structures or a malignant tumor is diagnosed. These arm lumps usually do not infiltrate into surrounding tissues hence they can be excised easily.
There is also an alternative to the standard excision process which is squeezing the arm lump manually by making a small nick in the skin. Another technique known as Liposuction-assisted Lipectomy has also been effectively used for excision of Lumps in the Arm with minimal complications.