Osteopathic approach to lumps in the neck

Lumps in the Neck: Characteristics

When examining the patient, try to answer the following questions to determine the lump’s characteristics:
  • What is its shape?
  • Is it smooth or lobulated?
  • Is it in the midline?
  • Is it solid or cystic?
  • Is there more than one lump?
  • Is it tender?
  • Is it attached to any viscus or skin?
  • Is it connected to the thyroid and therefore moves on swallowing?
  • Is it pulsatile?
  • Is there any associated acute or chronic inflammation or ulceration anywhere within the head and neck? (Remember this includes the scalp and oral and nasal cavities.)

Lumps in the neck are mostly indications to refer the patient but it is interesting to know some differentiation.

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