ZocdocAnswersI have a growth under the skin on my ulna below my elbow. What could it be?

Question

I have a growth under the skin on my ulna below my elbow. What could it be?

It is about 2 inches long and one inch wide and raised in the middle. It seems to grow and retreat but is always quite pronounced.I have bursitis in that elbow sometimes. The lump is semi hard. There is no pain or redness.I have had it for at least 6 months

Answer

Thank you for this interesting question. It is not possible to provide an accurate diagnosis without reviewing your entire medical history and without performing a thorough physical exam. Therefore, I recommend you schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. After an in-person evaluation, the doctor will be able to make recommendations on possible causes and any additional studies that may be needed. There are multiple structures in the area of the arm that is affected. As you mention, there are several bursa, or fluid filled sacs, that help provide cushioning within the joint. These can be inflamed and tender, leading to bursitis. Treatment is typically conservative and sometimes involves taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. There are many vascular structures in this area. An aneurysm, or abnormal outpouching, of one of the vessels could be creating this intermittently swollen area. This would require a CT or MRI to diagnose. Another possibility is a tumor of the ulnar nerve itself or one of its insulating areas. This may require an MRI to diagnose, and treatment can be either surgical or conservative. Given the variety of potential causes for this swelling, I recommend you arrange an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who can help determine the cause.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.