Snake bite after 50 years forms huge mass in woman’s leg

snake bite of woman's leg

LiveScience

A 66 year-old woman from Thailand suffers abnormal growth of mass in her lower leg following a snake bite after 50 years. Although it is a rare case of medical detection when it starts growing when she was 14 years old after an attack from venomous snake called Malayan pit viper that is found only in Southeast Asia.

The painless mass became noticeable 10 years earlier, and when the x-ray result was taken, it looks like an enlarged cavity that is wrapping a tough, calcified membrane that resembles like an eggshell. It grows ultimately that it sticks out from the woman’s skin. Although medical doctors performs surgery, and was able to remove the mass successfully and completely healed after one month of surgical operation.

Such abnormal growth of masses is a rare case after a snake bite, but could be following after a traumatic injury to muscles.

A calcified mass can form as muscle tissue starts to die after a crushing injury or disruption of the blood supply, usually in the lower leg, said Dr. Darren Fitzpatrick, an assistant professor of Radiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who wasn’t involved in the woman’s case.

“It’s very common for it to be mistaken for a tumor, but usually, the imaging helps with the diagnosis,” Fitzpatrick told Live Science.

In the case of this patient, doctors suspected that, because of the snakebite, the woman had developed a condition called compartment syndrome; the name refers to sections of muscle that are held together, along with nerves and blood vessels, by a tough tissue called the fascia, which does not stretch easily.

The woman’s compartment syndrome had been left untreated, according to the report.

“Compartment syndrome usually happens below the knee,” Fitzpatrick said. “You have a big group of muscles there, and they are in kind of a tight compartment.”

“If the muscles start to swell from trauma or injury, they can run out of space, and that could result in compromised blood flow,” he added. “That’s certainly a very plausible reason as to why this could have happened in this case.”

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