What is arm lump?

An arm lump is a protuberance or localized area of swelling occurring on the arm. Other terms used to describe the various types of lumps include bump, nodule, contusion, tumor and cyst. Arm lumps can be caused by any number of conditions, including infections, inflammation, tumors or trauma. Depending on the cause, lumps may be single or multiple, soft or firm, painful or painless. They may grow rapidly or may not change in size.

Arm Problems Spotlight

Arm lumps due to local infectious causes may appear as boils, or abscesses. Many types of infections cause the lymph nodes to enlarge and feel like lumps, most commonly in the armpits. Traumatic causes of arm lumps range from bug bites to severe injuries that can produce a localized collection of blood in the tissues (hematoma).

Both benign and malignant tumors of the skin, soft tissues, or bones of the arm can sometimes feel like lumps. In these cases, either a biopsy or surgical removal of the arm lump can determine whether cancer is present. Cysts, which are fluid-filled, sac-like structures that can form in various parts of the body, often feel like lumps. Some cysts may be present at birth, while others develop as a result of inflammation, tumors, or wear-and-tear over time.

Conditions that produce inflammation throughout the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis (chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation), may be associated with arm lumps.

Lumps caused by infection, inflammation or trauma are usually temporary and subside as the underlying condition resolves. Lumps that persist or continue to grow over time may signal more serious conditions, such as tumors. If you have any lump that is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with arm lump?

Arm lumps may accompany other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that cause arm lumps may also involve other body systems.

Related localized symptoms that may occur along with an arm lump

An arm lump may be accompanied by other localized symptoms including:

CAUSES

What causes arm lump?

Arm lumps have many possible causes, including trauma, infections, inflammatory diseases, benign cysts and tumors, and cancers.

Traumatic causes of arm lumps

Minor and severe injuries, as well as internal trauma, can result in a localized swelling or lump on the arm including:

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jul 29, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases


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