Fairly large bubble under skin -- hematoma?


Over the past 2 or 3 weeks I’ve noticed a small, sensitive spot on my lower leg, near the shin. It didn’t/doesn’t hurt, but if I touched it it felt slightly sensitive, it was a new and different condition, and I didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t bothersome enough to do anything about it, such as visit a doctor, but I’ve been puzzled by it.

Then in the past couple of days I realized it’s apparently been swelling, so that now there appears to be a bubble of fluid beneath the skin, in the quadrant between the front and the side, a few inches below the knee. The bubble is not hugely distended so that passersby on the street would notice it, and it’s not dark purple, but upon close examination I can see there is a bubble and if poke gently I can tell it appears to be about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long (tall) and is puffy (ie., full of fluid). This morning I stood up from the couch and without thinking put my hand directly on it, applying pressure, and it was a little painful.

So, of course, I’m trying to figure what it is, what caused it, and how it will go away.

My best guess is I caused it from running or cycling, maybe something like a shin splint, an internal injury that’s causing blood or pus or some other fluid to keep building up where it doesn’t belong. I don’t run regularly, but I did a few weeks ago, and I go for a long bike ride every weekend. I’ve had shin splints before, when I used to jog, and I recall them hurting like hell (which this doesn’t) and I don’t recall them causing a swollen bump, so I’m doubtful that’s exactly it, but I don’t know what else it might be.

Any ideas? Sports exertion (but not sudden impact injury) leading to mild hematoma (I think that must be the right word). Seems too late to ice it to make it go away, and lancing it is too extreme. Nor do I want to stop cycling. But it appears to be growing rather than shrinking. :eh:

It’s almost certainly a lurgy. Nothing you can do. Can I have your bike when you go?

Well it’s not a loogy. I tried wiping it off, but it’s still there.

Dr. Urodacus please. Paging Dr. Urodacus.

sounds like it’s not a haematoma (leakage out of the vein if the vein breaks, but unlikely if there’s no dark colour after a day or two). It may be a cyst of some cause, like a splinter that you never noticed causing an infection.

Alternatively, you could have a bulging vein without breakage due to a broken valve that is unable to maintain pressure when standing. Multiple defects like this are seen in varicose veins. That is unlikely given the location.

Does it change size (i.e., drain) when you raise the leg above the head? Is it possible to massage the swelling away with the leg elevated? If so, then i’d suggest a valve failure. If it gets worse and worse, then I’d suggest it is a cyst, either infectious or not.

Probably no need to panic but i’d go to a venologist when you can take some time off work. Not much they can do for a broken valve, but if it’s an infectious cyst then you need treatment as it’s in a bad area for infections (compartment syndrome).

I was going to say a cyst, but there’s no way any of us can know. I had a large cyst on the back of my neck removed about 7 years ago, and it was getting a little sensitive right before I had it looked at. It was a very simple outpatient procedure to get it removed.

Hope it turns out to be minor, but you really should try to get it looked at.