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Panicking about lump on five year old's knee

(12 Posts)
BigKatie Fri 02-Sep-16 22:11:56

Hi - I'm posting because I've got myself in a flap about something and I'm hoping for some perspective.

A couple of month's ago I noticed a firm lump on the back of my five year old son's knee. I suffer from bad anxiety anyway so immediately felt panic and then stupidly googled it. For the first time in my life the Internet provided reassurance - it was probably 'baker's cyst' I thought- and given we have a history of dodgy knees in the family I thought that must be what it was. I decided to take him to the GP but somehow over the summer it stupidly got put on the back burner. My husband's job is up in the air and I work nearly full time, my children were in school, then there was other stuff in the family going on, then we were on holiday and totally uncharacteristically I didn't rush him to the doctor. I finally got round to it this week, and it's not a Baker's cyst and on the basis the GP doesn't know whether it's urgent we've been given an urgent referral for an ultrasound. He said it might be a cyst but might be something else.

I know I can't do anything about it now but I'm devastated I've left it so long, and panicking that the thing has grown, although I'm not sure. It's quite firm and maybe around five centimetres long and two centimetres across, vertically down the back of his knee. I can't remember how big it was when I spotted it. I also didn't panic initially because it seems to disappear into the joint when he bends his knee. We should have a scan either this week coming or the week after.

Basically my anxiety has gone into overdrive. He can be a bit dramatic bless him but now every time he complains about anything I'm worrying it's a symptom of a cancer spreading. I'm desperately googling now to try to get some perspective and I'm alternating between pages about how lots and lots of lumps are benign and reading about horribly aggressive cancers. I know I need to stop and get some perspective because there's nothing we can do now and we'll get a scan relatively quickly.

Rationally, I know he has no other symptoms I can think of - he's an incredibly active little boy, it doesn't seem painful and doesn't seem to impede his movement. He's not getting tired more quickly than usual. Tonight he said his other lower leg felt for funny, but that could easily be because he knows he's been to the doctor about one of his legs.(Obviously my anxious brain concluded it's bone cancer).

I know I shouldn't be googling - I had a minor cancer scare last year and the nurse told me not to google. Waiting for my biopsy result was agonising (thankfully it was a benign lump) and this time I'd to find a way to keep on top of my anxiety while we wait for my lovely little boy's scan and I guess possibly a biopsy.

The GP didn't offer me any 'it's probably nothing' and when I asked he said it could well be benign but equally he doesn't want to offer false reassurance. He seemed keen to get us in for a scan quickly.
My husband thinks it's probably fine but I'm struggling to contain my worry... Any thoughts? Thank you

Cocoabutton Fri 02-Sep-16 22:16:20

Bone spur?

My DD has one on her femur. We were referred for scan on the same day as Dr was not sure and it was a child.

CheeseFlavouredDiscs Fri 02-Sep-16 22:27:29

There are lots of things it could be, and yes something horrible is one of those things, but hopefully it won't be. I would love to reassure you and say everything will be fine (and in all likelihood it probably will be) but you and your doctor both know that there is a chance it could be something serious.

The good news is that the 'something serious' is usually very treatable these days and can often be dealt with very effectively.

In the meantime OP there is nothing you can do about this and no amount of worrying will change the result. For your own sanity you need to try and get on with life until you do have a result. The NHS is very good with this sort of thing and will rush his appointment and results (please make yourself available to attend whatever appointment they offer) and they are very quick to share bad results and get treatments going fast. Unfortunately they aren't always so great at sharing good results, and often don't tell patients good results very quickly at all.

When you go get these tests done, ask how long the tests take and when you can expect to get an answer from them. You can also ask the receptionist if there is a phone number to call if you haven't heard from them within the specified time scale. Do call if you don't hear, as they often say, "oh yes, it benign, nothing to worry about, you should receive a letter telling you this in a week or so..." At least this way you won't stressing about the result waiting for the letter to arrive.

Above all please don't feel bad that you waited to take your child to the GP. No parent wants to waste their GP's time, and you thought you were doing the right thing. You absolutely cannot beat yourself up about that.

Everyone else who reads this thread, please heed this as a warning against self-diagnosing on the internet. It is just as easy to diagnose yourself with a harmless thing like a Bakers Cyst (when it could be worse), as it is to diagnose yourself with something awful (when its something harmless).

LittleBoat Fri 02-Sep-16 22:27:49

My daughter has a lump like this below her knee. It is an Osteochondroma; a totally benign bony lump that was only diagnosed after ultrasound, xray and scary MRI scans.
We were also never told "don't worry its probably nothing", so I know how you're feeling.
My daughter gets pain from hers periodically. It's from the tendon rubbing over the top of it. But initially, pre-diagnosis, this added to the worry.

SnowBodyforrrrm Fri 02-Sep-16 22:40:28

I don't have any experience of this but just wanted to say I'll be thinking of you and your son and hoping to read a positive update in a few weeks once he's had his scan flowers

BigKatie Fri 02-Sep-16 23:01:33

Thank you - yes I would definitely reiterate going to the doctor rather than google. As a long-term sufferer of anxiety I actually tend to conversely assume I'm overreacting and look for evidence that everything is probably fine and unfortunately this was not a good idea on this one. I'm normally so on it but I am trying not to kick myself. I've now swung round into full panic mode.

It's not hard and bony feeling - it feels like firm tissue. I thought it was fluid feeling - the doctor said if it is a cyst it's a very firm one, but didn't rule it out. Fingers crossed - thank you for posts X

BigKatie Tue 06-Sep-16 22:26:59

Fantastic news - it is a baker's cyst after all. A completely harmless cyst. Well it's fantastic compared with the horrible alternative. It will hopefully go on its own and it's not a problem until it causes a problem, but at the moment it's not, if that makes sense. The relief is ridiculous. No more stupid googling for me..straight to the doctor with anything unusual next time. Thanks for the support and flowers X

Semiskimmedgreymatter Tue 06-Sep-16 22:42:17

Well done op, so happy all's well! wine and now relax smile

ChattyMcChatty22 Wed 07-Sep-16 00:42:04

😀

SnowBodyforrrrm Wed 07-Sep-16 00:45:40

Yey! Bloody chuffed for you 🎉

CheeseFlavouredDiscs Wed 07-Sep-16 12:27:49

That's great news Katie, so pleased for you smile

LittleBoat Sat 10-Sep-16 22:13:48

Great news. smile

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