A clavicle bone lump can be caused by a variety of conditions. The most common source of a lump over the clavicle bone is a healing bone fracture. Sometimes the lump is a lipoma, or a harmless fatty tumor that settles on top of the collarbone. If the bump is located at either end of the clavicle, it could be caused by damage from osteoarthritis (OA). Certain forms of cancer may cause lumps to develop over the clavicle, so any unidentified bumps should be evaluated by a physician to rule out a serious condition.
Most often, a clavicle bone lump is caused by a poorly healing break in the bone. The development of a small lump over the fracture site is frequently the only symptom of the injury. A clavicle bone fracture can occur during any type of vigorous physical activity or as a result of a fall. Newborn babies may suffer a clavicle fracture during a difficult birth. A baby that will not move one arm or cries when he is picked up should be seen by a doctor for appropriate medical care.
Extensive treatment of a clavicle fracture is typically not necessary for a newborn, and the clavicle will usually heal quickly on its own. Older children and adults may need to wear a sling to immobilize the affected arm and to help the fracture heal faster. Ice and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help relieve any discomfort during the healing process. Compound clavicle fractures can require the surgical insertion of pins to stabilize the bone while it heals.
A small lump over the clavicle may be caused by a tumor formed from fatty tissue. The lump can usually be moved with slight pressure and is not painful. It does not require removal unless it is perceived to be unsightly, and then it can be removed during an outpatient procedure.
Occasionally, a clavicle bone lump is a sign of re-occurring breast cancer. It develops on or near the clavicle, and is later determined to be in one of the lymph nodes. Early evaluation of any lump found on the body can contribute to a favorable prognosis if cancer is later detected.
Another condition that causes a clavicle bone lump is aneurysmal bone cyst. It can be diagnosed after a computerized tomography (CT) scan is taken. Most physicians will recommend the surgical removal of the cyst. If there has not been any re-growth of the aneurismal bone cyst within two years, it is not likely to develop again.