My 8 year old son has been suffering from a swollen tonsil for a month now. He tested positive for Strep, is moody, tired, and hasn't eaten anything "solid" in all that time. He has finished a 10-day course of amoxicillin (prescribed by pediatrician), followed by a 10-day course of clindamycin (prescribed by ENT) that he completed yesterday. Nothing has changed, and he now has a pea/bean size lump behind his ear. Swollen lymph node? Is this still just a difficult case of Strep, or is there something else going on? What should be our next step?
The lump palpable behind the ear must be lymph node, in response to the infection of the tonsil. Lymph are protective mechanisms of the body and they 'trap' the infecting source causing enlargement of lymph nodes. If the tonsillar swelling is reduced, then he must be responding to the medications and his appetite will improve. If the swelling has not reduced or is increasing in size, then he may need a biopsy of the gland to rule other causes like tumors. So, wait and watch, if it is not regressing, then discuss these options with your doctor.
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