Evaluating Soft-Tissue Lumps and Bumps

Mo Med. 2017 Jul-Aug;114(4):289-294.


Patients presenting with soft-tissue lumps and bumps are commonly encountered by both primary care physicians and orthopaedic surgeons. Though common, the initial evaluation and management of a soft-tissue mass can be challenging for many clinicians due to the considerable overlap in the presentation of benign and malignant tumors. Furthermore, a myriad of conditions, ranging from infection to trauma, can present with a soft-tissue mass. Subsequently, the correct diagnosis is often delayed or missed which may ultimately lead to inappropriate treatment. The propose of this article is to review the fundamental elements of a successful soft-tissue mass work-up and to provide the clinician with a systematic approach to the evaluation, diagnosis and management of the patient with a soft-tissue tumor.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / methods
  • Biopsy / trends
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Orthopedic Surgeons / statistics & numerical data
  • Physicians, Primary Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / therapy
  • United States / epidemiology