Q&A with Dr. Jay

Question: My 4 year old son has a lump behind his knee. It’s about the size of a walnut. What can it be?

Dr. Jay: First, make an appointment with your pediatrician. Hopefully, they will find that this lump is in the area between his calf and lower hamstring area. There should be no tenderness, redness, or swelling. More than likely, this lump is a Baker’s cyst. This occurs when synovial fluid from the knee leaks through some of the connective tissue surrounding the knee. This lump is actually not tissue but fluid and can be compressed. There is usually no cause for this occurrence and there is a high chance that this will spontaneously resolve. It is usually recommended that a orthopedic surgeon be consulted because although uncommon, the cyst can be associated with arthritis of the joint or some cartilage injury. If the cyst starts to extend to either the upper or lower areas of the leg or if pain and redness occurs, call the orthopedic surgeon immediately.

Question: Will I have to worry about the swine flu again this year?

Dr. Jay: This year, the flu vaccine will contain the swine flu, so it should not be as rampant as it was last year. But, it can still be present. If you or your child have an illness with flu-like symptoms, make an appointment so your doctor can assess the situation and recommend treatment or not. Call your doctor for recommendations about receiving the flu vaccine. If your child has flu-like symptoms, be considerate and keep them away from other children until they are properly diagnosed. Practice good hand washing and sanitizing.

Gulf Coast Family Publications - Encouraging families along the Gulf Coast in Pinellas County