Shotty Lymph Nodes: What are They and Why Should You Care

Shotty Lymph Nodes Definition

Almost everyone has shotty lymph nodes. The name shotty is only used to distinguish them from normal nodes due to the fact that they feel like buckshot or pellets. Not unless there are serious health concerns linked to them, doctors will not be too concerned about them. However, if a CT scan is done and they’re seen to not to be symmetrical, doctors may want to get to the bottom of the issue to avert possible health implications.

Shotty-Lymph-NodesJust in case this is your first time to hear of lymph nodes, then it’s essential you know that they are small bean-like features which are spread throughout the body. They’re not necessarily conspicuous but in case they swell they can become a bit stubborn. In most cases the swelling points to a more serious underlying condition and therefore doctors will be interested in carrying deeper diagnosis to find the culprit.

Please note that due to their strategic roles in the body – especially in the functioning of the immune system – cases of injury or malignancy may prove quite sever to your well being.

What may cause shotty lymph nodes problems?

According to Dr. Saul Rosenberg of Stanford University, when these nodes are more than 1cm, then it’s considered abnormal. This could point to various problems.


Parasitic, viral, bacterial and fungal infections in strategic areas of the body are known to play the biggest role in onset of this problem. Bacterial infections are usually accompanied by pain, red rashes in the affected area. Viral infections are unique in that they affect almost the entire body. At advanced stages, infections like skin abscesses, cellulitis and boils may lead to swelling in the shotty lymph nodes.


Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and genital herpes can cause the nodes to swell. The effects can be direr if they affect the pelvic area or areas adjacent to it.


Trauma and injuries to the groin area or the legs can affect shotty lymph nodes. Also, injuries to the genital area may fuel the problem.


In rare cases, a cancer commonly known as lymphoma may be the culprit. In such cases, the nodes undergo malignant changes and start multiplying rapidly leading to tumors.


Swollen shotty lymph nodes may occur as an added effect of hernia. The common symptoms in such cases include weaknesses, aching, sensation and extreme pressure in the affected region.

What shotty lymph nodes treatment options are available?

In majority of the incidences, the swelling dies on its own. However, when it doesn’t do so for some time, the doctor will try to uncover the underlying cause of the issue, before recommending the right treatment. If bacteria are the culprits, he’ll recommend antibiotics. In case of hernia he’ll most likely recommend surgery. If the physician suspects cancer, then an immediate biopsy must be done.

Just to be on the safe side, if you identify swollen shotty lymph nodes with common symptoms like redness, tenders/hardness, night sweats or drastic weight loss, then you should consult a doctor within the shortest time possible.

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Shotty Lymph Nodes: What are They and Why Should You Care