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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: lump where collar bone and sternum meet

 Smurfette - Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:09 am

I am a 49 year old, non-smoker, non-drinker, no drugs female. On Saturday I noticed a large hard lump on my right collar bone right where the collar bone meets the sternum. The lump starts there and goes up my neck, it is about the size of a grape. I spoke with a doctor and he said that is an inflamed joint and to take antiflamatories. I have been taking 800mg every 4 hours since and it is the same size. It doesn't move around and it is hard. I periodically get shocks of pain in the area, but otherwise I don't have pain. I have not had any trauma to the area recently.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:45 am

User avatar Hi Smurfette,
There are many reasons for a swelling in the area you have described.They range from benign neoplasms, tumor-like lesions and malignant neoplasms affecting the medial end o the clavicle(collar bone). Also there are inflammations affecting the sterno-clavicular joint.
Your doctor was probably right in trying a course of NSAIDs at the outset.How is it now by the way? If it has not cleared by now, you will probably need further investigations.
Please keep us posted.
 Smurfette - Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:07 am

Thank you, and I appreciate your taking the time to answer me.

Well, I had it x-rayed and was told it was just bone build up (that was around 4 months ago). However there are times that I feel like there is a burning sensation in that spot or along the collar bone leading to the point. I also think that it has gotten bigger. My doctor told me that there really wasn't anything to be done about it but I am concerned that since it seems to be getting bigger, if there isn't anything else I should do and WHY is it growing?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:08 am

User avatar Hi,
Many of the causes of swelling at the medial end of clavicle are rare. Just to name a few...
- The sternoclavicular syndrome (variously called as arthro-osteitis,sternoclavicular hyperostosis and SAPHO syndrome,) - a group of ill-understood chronic inflammatory disorders.
- Friedrich's disease - an aseptic necrosis of the medial end of clavicle has been occassionaly recorded since its first description by Friedrich in 1924.
- somewhat more common are the arthritic disorders involving the sternoclavicular joint (rheumatoid arthritis,psoriatic arthritis,reactive arthritis,spondyloarthropathies etc).
Further investigations may include ESR,HLA-B27, and a biopsy.
Only a rheumatologist may be in a better position to investigate you further to diagnose your condition.Good luck!
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:38 am

User avatar Hello,
I agree that several arthritic conditions, malignancy, or rheumatological conditions can affect the medial end of the clavicle. Joint infection is another possibility.
The area affected is probably the sternoclavicular joint (SC joint). It will be important to get an MRI or CT scan of the joint to better see what is going on.
I have seen a couple cases now of either inflammatory reaction or infection/malignancy in this joint.
If after imaging the joint with appropriate labs (CBC, sed rate, CRP), and empirical treatment (antibiotics and/or corticosteroids) the condition persists and without specific diagnosis, a biopsy is indicated.
Take care.
 Smurfette - Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:09 am

If it was inflamed wouldn't it be soft? It is really hard like extra bone has grown.

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