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55 years old , soft tissue knee swelling

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Soft tissue swelling around my knee about 12 yrs ago. Then, occasional soft tissue swelling in knee, around ankle bone, hand, neck (behind / below the ear ) and back of head (on the occipital bone) (Not all at one time.) No hard lumps, just painful, soft tissue swelling that comes and goes. Each time it lasts about 4 or 5 days. It might be my knee one time, then a few months later my hand, then months later around my ankle bone, etc. Then maybe nothing for a year or more. When I had it on the back of my head (on the occipital bone), I became concerned. It felt like I had hit my head and had a huge black and blue mark, but I didn't hit anything. I could touch it and feel that it was swollen and it hurt. At first I thought it was just the way the back of my head is shaped-till after the swelling went down I realized that it really was swollen a lot. I'm 55 years old. Any ideas?

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replied August 8th, 2010
Immune Disorders Answer A15047
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the multiple soft tissue swellings at different areas of the body on different times which heal on their own in 4-5 days.
You might be affected by what is called as soft tissue rheumatic syndrome in which there is swelling and inflammation of bursae and tendons usually around the joint. Pain is the main symptom of soft tissue rheumatic syndromes. Most of these conditions occur suddenly, may last for days, weeks, or longer, and then go away. They can occur again in the same place or in other parts of the body. Many of the syndromes go away on their own time.
The treatment for many soft tissue conditions is similar. Your doctor's recommendations may include a combination of rest, splints, heat and cold application, medications, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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