Knee pain and large lump

Patient

Q: Hi, I am a 23 year old female and an ex gymnast, and now do trampolining a few times a week. 4 months ago I was diagnosed with a stress fracture to my spine (L5) and so am just rehabbing and getting back to sport. I also enjoy running and going to the gym. I recently noticed a protruding lump on my right knee, especially when I bend the knee. The lump appears on the lateral part if the knee along the joint line (according to my physio). It is quite a large lump and quite squishy to touch. The knee does not appear hot to touch or red. It has started to hurt in this area when running and jumping, quite a sharp pain, and aches after activity. I would like some advice as to what it could be and whether I could do any damage by carrying on with sport. I am a very active person and as I have been out for a long time with a back injury I don't want this to prevent me from getting back. Thank you, Amy

Symptoms:  Protruding soft lump when right knee is bent, lateral side, sharp pain when running/jumping and aching pain after exercise
Images: 
Knee pain and large lump-1
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. There are several possible causes of the swelling you are experiencing on the side of your knee. The first possibility is that you may be experiencing a condition called bursitis. Bursitis is inflammation of a fluid filed structure called a bursa. Bursas function to cushion the movement of muscle over bone/tendons. The knee joint contains about 4 major bursas and it appears that you may be developing bursitis of the largest bursa of the knee joint called the prepattellar bursa. Another possibility is that your running is causing inflammation of the lateral collateral ligament, which is located on the lateral aspect of the knee joint. This can happen after exercise and may be indicative of an impending tear. We recommend that you have your kneed swelling examined by a doctor to determine the actual source of this swelling, along with its severity. This will determine when you will be able to get back to training.

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