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Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 10341
Experience:  14 years experience in the field of Family Practice
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I have had a small, depressable lump on the outside

Customer Question

Hello, I have had a small, depressable lump on the outside on my leg- next to my shin bone on the outside. Two different orthopedic doctors told me it's either a lipoma or a vein.
On the same leg, along the outside of my shin, there are two bulges. They are not round like a lump, but kind of like muscle pushing up. Soft, depressable and only via ale when I cross my less and press my legs together hard and I can see them. Also- when I rotate my ankle with toes up- they can't be felt and toes down they stick out more.
Went back to the ortho. Said this was muscle or inflammation.
I'm worried about sarcoma after reading.
I know one of these "bulges" has been present for a year. The other I feel I'm
Not sure if it's new.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
It sounds that you have had these places checked and had reassurance in both cases of the benign nature of what you have noted.
1) Small depressable lump SOUNDS to me to be more consistent with lipoma... that is just a benign fatty growth...
2) A mildly noted muscle bulge only visible with certain positions or movements..
I think that you may discuss your ongoing concern with one of the orthopedic specialists that have reviewed your leg findings and just let then know that it is an issue that still just bothers you despite reassurance. I think that one way that may add your sense of reassurance would be a simple follow up check say in 6 months >> make sure that they are stable over time.. go back sooner if you feel a change or new symptoms such as developing pain from them..
I think this would establish a back up plan to add hopefully a sense of assurance for you that it is benign in nature.
I hope that this is helpful for you. Let me know if you have further questions or discussion. i will be happy to get back with you. If my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback. thank You and Best regards,
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you believe thT an orthopedic surgeon would have sent me for a MRI if he had suspicion?
No change in over a year and a few months would indicate something more benign?
I don't have pain when pressing on them. Are sarcomas usually hard feeling?
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
YES >> absolutely!!
I think that the ortho would have definitely sent you for an MRI if he had suspicion of a sarcoma or other bad acting type lesion.
I think that the surgeons that checked you were confident of the benign nature of these findings...
For the same reason I did not recommend that you have an MRI as that is a very expensive tests and I think that you should be spared that unless really needed...
Yes a sarcoma would be more firm in nature..
It does not sound that it is a sarcoma based on the history that you describe.
My sense was that a timed follow up to monitor may be a more sensible and economical way to monitor this and help I hope to be of reassurance to you!!
I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have anything further.Take Care !!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks. And a sarcoma wouldn't grow in multiples in one area? Like 3 different bulges in one area, two that haven't changed in a year or more.
This is soft. It depresses and feels like a soft bulge.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again--
Right --- the lack of change would not be suspicious for a sarcoma...the soft consistency would not be consistent with a sarcoma...
Also you have had these checked by 2 orthopedic specialists..
All these factors should be reassuring for you I would think!!
So I think that you are fine in this regard!
Let me know if you have further concerns!!
Best Regards!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Are there many different types of benign reasons for this to occur?
Also, if I have my legs crossed and the bulges are visable. They disappear or go in when I rotate my ankle. So they kind go with the muscle.
The internet scared me. I have to trust your opinion and the orthopedic doctor. I mean he just handed me inflammation cream and said to rub that on. Wasn't at all concerned.
I just have anxiety and don't believe him I guess.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again!
Well it would help me to be more specific for you to be able to have the benefit of direct exam and SEE and FEEL exactly what you are referring to...
The shin area is going to be among the most common areas to have bruises over time. This bruising of the pretibial area may cause irregular bumps or feel such as to the anterior tibialis muscle. So underlying benign scar tissue from prior injury might be one possible cause...
One palpable bump but soft I think you had indicated was felt and examined by the orthopedic doctor (or both) and felt to be a simple lipoma. I would be confident that they would be correct in their assessment of this very common benign type finding.
I hope that this is helpful for you!
Further questions are welcome and if it would be helpful you are welcome to post a picture of the skin/ subcutaneous places to which you refer---
Take Care! Let me know if I may be of further help!
Anthony Bray MD
You may have prominent veins near the skin and certain positions could cause these to be more prominent and noticed. A superficial vein would be easily compressible.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They aren't really photographable because they are easier felt them seen on the surface. Unless the light hits my leg right. Here's the breakdown:About 1 1/2 years ago I found the little soft and very press able round bump that pops up on my shin when I cross my legs. I went to two doctors who said it's a vein or a lipoma. Not worries about it. I also had one of these bulges on the side of my shin area but on the outside like I describe. No change has occurred since then. So a year and a half. Went back to the ortho 3 weeks ago for another check. It's the same size and no change so he wasn't concerned. He told me that what I feel isn't a lump but protruding muscle since it isn't feelable when I flex. There's two oblong like soft bumps on the side of my shin and the lipomaIs dead center on my leg/shin. The side ones feel good when rubbed. Like aSore muslce feels but milder. That's my best description. Like I said the bulges can only be seen when I cross my calf over the opposite knee and pull the claf one way and the shin area the other way and I can feel like and push down on them. I did play soccer from childhood to college. SoMaybe this is from old injuries! I'm sorry if that sounds rambling. Just trying to explain. I need to trust that sarcomas are soft and depressable most times. It feels like muscle. Maybe it is what the ortho said, a tore sheet that covers muscle so it pushes muscle out now. I don't know.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again--
Ok I get it these irregular areas are not so easily photographed. I think it reassuring that it has been stable over time. It has been examined by two orthopedic specialists. The fact that these only emerge as places that feel irregular when the leg is positioned a certain way sounds to me that it could be related perhaps from a long past injury to muscle. I could envision a past bruise to muscle causing some scar tissue within the muscle. This would lead to an irregular feel to the muscle tissue. That sounds like it is the nature of the finding. I don't know that you need to do anything for it --- depends on your symptoms --- it sounds that your main issue is WORRY but not that it really bothers you otherwise ..
I hope that this is helpful. Let me know if you have further questions or discussion.Take Care!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Yes I just want to elimnate the cancer fear and I'll be fine lol.
I think this has been a good reassuring 2nd opinion.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome...Yes I am confident that your history does not suggest cancer.
Let me know if you have further questions or concerns.
Take Care!!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This might sound silly, but if a real lump or sarcoma or lipoma under the skin is there, and you pull skin tight, it wouldn't smooth out, right? Like a lump would show more prominent if skin is pulled tight from it and if what appears to be a lump smooths out, then it's just leg fat?Also, cancer wouldn't be symmetrical right?I'm examining my legs now like a crazy person. And on both thigh I have these indents and like a fatty area between two dimples. It appears on both thighs same exact area
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again---
Symmetry of your legs would be a good and reassuring characteristic --Yes to that. If you notice a similar finding right vs left then you are probably only noticing a detail of normal anatomy!!
A lipoma would be soft and tend to flatten with pressure ...yes to that...
Some of what you describe may be a factor of the depth in your tissue of whatever ....if you had some bump on the femur for example then the surface of the thigh may appear unchanged...if that makes sense...
The more superficial any irregularity may be the more you might notice it at the level of the skin....
Let me know if you have further questions or discussion. Best Regards--
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you mean the more benign, the more I would notice it at the surface of the skin?
Would a sarcoma feel like a distinct lump or would it feel like fat or soft?
Yes what I'm feeling is like a fatty patch on both thighs that kinda protrudes in the same place.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
No I'm not saying benign more noticed at skin...more superficial regardless of cause more noted at skin surface...
Malignant growth would be more likely to change , grow, expand, be more disruptive of normal tissue with time. It would be more likely to cause pain. Firmness of tissue and irregularity of tissue would be characteristics of concern.
What you have described would NOT seem to for these concerning type characteristics at all...
So I feel that you are safe and have no reason to worry!!
I hope that this is helpful!!
Take Care!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. And the fatty areas on my thighs that are only there when my leg is straight and if kneel and sit back to tighten my thigh or stretch it. There is so protrusion.
Most likely just fat on each thigh. Right?
This is so scary! Sarcomas and internet info.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
Yes it sounds that you are needlessly scaring yourself!!
The thighs will carry some subcutaneous fat -- yes! Absolutely!
I have heard nothing from your descriptions to make me think that you need to worry further with regard to this issue!!
I hope that this is helpful.Take Care!
Anthony Bray MD
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thnks. Yeah my legs bumps are identical. I'm causing major anxiety on myself. Thank you for your help.
You're very informative and I know you would encourage further testing if you thought this was something scary.
I think I need some anxiety help for health issues.
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
Indeed I would push you to get further evaluation if I thought that was in your best interest. As it is I think you are worrying when you do not need to be....
I have told some on this site to go ASAP to ER when the situation called for it...
So it is not that I downplay serious situations here at all...
I try to offer people like yourself guidance in the best direction for a given scenario.
So it is in your case that you seem to carry this specific health anxiety...
It may be that you could benefit from help for the health anxiety...
I wish to avoid blowing anything here out of proportion though!!
Best Regards,
Anthony Bray MD
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if you have any ongoing concerns
Please remember to leave positive feedback if my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction.
Thank you and Best Regards!!
Anthony Bray MD