All Pets Veterinary Clinic

Joint Hematoma

Meet Chief.

Chief was presented for an acute swelling over the inside of his
hock (ankle) and associated lameness. His owner suspected that
Chief became entangled in his leash while he was outside. The initial
swelling had decreased in size over a few days but a golf ball sized lump

X-rays of the affected joint did not determine any fractures or boney
lesions. Rest and pain medication did not result in any improvement
of his condition so Chief was scheduled for an exploratory arthrotomy.

The skin was excised revealing a well encapsulated mass arising
from within the joint.

The mass was removed from the surrounding structures. The joint was
sutured closed, and bandaged. The mass was sent in for a biopsy
to rule out the possibility of cancer. Histopathology (biopsy)
revealed a granuloma with a hematoma (blood clot). Granulomas and
hematomas are non-cancerous masses. Chief recovered from surgery
and began using the leg within a few days.

Special thanks to Chief's owners for allowing us to share this case.

Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
16 October 2004