Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Lump in neck

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 7 Replies
  • Posted By: cmflynn
  • March 15, 2009
  • 07:05 AM

Hello, I've recently found a firm lump on the back of my neck, behind the ear along the hairline that's about 1" in diameter. It appeared more or less overnight. It came as I was just getting over (what I think was) a sinus infection (stuffed up with mucous and a cough, slight headache). The first day or two it didn't hurt, but now it's sore and tender. I'm a 29 y.o. male, and I've been otherwise in good health, and right now have no other symptoms other than pain in the area of the lump. I won't have insurance until June, so I'm trying to get an idea if this is likely just a side effect of the infection or something more serious

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7 Replies:

  • Hi cmflynn,Has the lump become larger or was it the 1" diameter size you describe when it first appeared? Does it have any redness or warmth-to-touch?Is the lump located directly over the bony prominence you can feel just behind your ear?Did you take any antibiotics for your sinus infection? If so, what particular one? Did this infection affect your ears at all?It sounds as though you may have an abscess. Will be better able to judge after seeing your answers.Regards,John
    JonMac 165 Replies Flag this Response
  • Does it have a ''head'' on it?If so,it's a boil.If it has more than one ''head'',it's a carbuncle.There are nonsurgical treatments.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • With the range of symptoms being described, mastoiditis would also be among the differentials and evaluation by an otolaryngologist suggested. Although rare these days, acute mastoiditis should nevertheless be ruled out since the inquiry comes via the internet and no mention of treatment with antibiotics for the sinus infection is recorded. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Jon, the lump has stayed pretty much the same size as when I first noticed it, nor is there any redness though it is warm to the touch. As for the location, it's in the bottom corner of the hairline, about an equal distance between the ear and the spine. It's right in the area of the occipital lymph node. I didn't take any medication when I was sick, and those symptoms went away in a few days. I know it came on fast because I had just cut my hair a few days before and hadn't noticed anything there
    cmflynn 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Is it still firm or has it become fluctuant(mushy)?
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • It could be an occipital lymph node that's inflamed,but there's usually a ''sore'' in the area of the node.If it doesn't go away,get it biopsied.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • cmflynn,It seems as though your sinus infection is the likely culprit that caused the enlargement of your occipital lymph node. Most often the enlargement will slowly subside but sometimes a condition called post inflammatory node develops and the node may remain somewhat enlarged.I'd say that if the pain and size of the area continues the same or increases you really should have it checked out.Be well!! John
    JonMac 165 Replies Flag this Response
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