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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Inguinal Lymph Node Swelling Cause-Worried!

 violet34 - Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:27 pm


I am a 34 year old female. Two days ago I discovered that one lymph node along lower panty line on left side was slightly swollen and a bit tender when prodded. Only seems a little sore when poked. I do know that the glands in this area are affected by the feet, legs, genital areas, and gluteal areas. About three weeks ago, I sustained a large, deep bruise (diameter 3 inches) above my left knee on my lower inner thigh while moving some furniture. It cleared up just a few days ago after suffusing with green, purple, blue and yellow over the three week span. Around the same time, I did have a fire ant bite on the left foot which developed a green, pus-filled balloon over it before scarring over. I seem to remember also nicking the skin behind my left knee while shaving a week ago, though if I did so, it has healed since then. I currently have one small bruise below my knee on the left leg which is healing. My question is, which of these factors could have caused the swelling, how concerned should I be about the swelling, and how long till it goes away? I confess that I prodded and poked the gland a good deal the first day I found it, but am trying to leave it alone now. I have my annual Well Woman exam already scheduled for the first of October. Sounds foolish, but I am scared about the swelling being something scary, as CANINE lymphoma was found in my mother's PET DOG by swollen glands in the groin area. Thank you for your advice.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:53 pm

User avatar Hello -

You certainly have had enough traumas on the left lower extremity prior to the swollen gland! It's possible that one of those may have caused the swelling (most likely the fire ant bite reaction), but equally possible it was none of those things and could be something unrelated (and probably benign), up to and including as simple as an ingrown folicle right near the site of the swelling.

Of course it's impossible to know with any certainty, from a distance, what's causing this, but it is a fairly common occurrence, usually medically unimportant. That's not going to put your mind at ease, but it is an attempt to do that. If the swelling is due to any one or more of the things that have happened between your hip and foot recently, it will certainly resolve on its own. If it's due to something trivial such as that possible ingrown follicle, treatment would be simple. The likelihood of it being anything serious is pretty small, but of course not impossible.

If I were the type to bet, I'd put my money on the fire ant bite as the cause of this, since it is the nearest easily palpable adjacent site, but you would be wise to have the site checked anyway, and since you do have an appointment already, the timing is pretty good. It may well be gone by then, which would be a good thing, but still worth mentioning.

I wish I could give you something more definite, but you've already taken note of it, decided to try and not prod it too much, and have the appointment coming up. You're doing all the right things. Try to think along statistical lines, which tells us the greatest odds are it's either a) nothing or b) a result of the fire ant bite. It's difficult to not worry, so I'm not even going to suggest that specifically.

Please do let us know what you learn, however, and feel free to follow up as needed, especially if anything changes in the interim.
 violet34 - Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:33 am

I had my checkup yesterday, and my doctor checked the area and said it was indeed a lymph node, and that it was fine. I had noticed it going down in size myself over the last few weeks. She said that with leg shaving, stubbing of toes, and other ordinary activities it is quite normal to be able to feel the nodes in this area, and that they are only of concern if they continue to enlarge or remain very hard. I'm glad that it was nothing to be worried about. Your reply to the post really helped me in the interim. Thank you again. I feel kind of foolish for having been so stressed about it. Thanks again for your kind reply.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:36 am

User avatar Hi -

Good news! I'm glad it is a nothing, which is a thing easy to say to someone but not so easy to grasp as the most likely thing to the patient, especially at a distance. I'm glad I was able to ease your mind somewhat during the interim, at least, and you must never feel foolish for having legitimate concerns about your health. That's why we're here, and we appreciate you bringing your question to this site. I'm just happy to hear it is, in fact, nothing. That's what we like to hear.

Best of luck to you.

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