buffalo hump | Arthritis Information



Am I the only one that has a "buffalo hump" from taking prednisone? Its not that I would wish this on anyone else, but I wouldn't mind having someone for company in this exclusive club.




A buffalo hump is a fat pad that is caused by too much cortisone in your system. It occurs at the base of the neck between the shoulder blades. It does remind you somewhat of the older ladies with the hump. Except theirs is causd by their spine collapsing and this is fat accumulation. Its a really weird thing to have happen. If you look in a mirror you can see a bulge right at the base of your neck. A buffalo has a fat pad in the same place, hence the name "buffalo hump". I don't think it will ever go away. As you can guess, it makes me very unhappy. Talk about a blow to your self-esteem. I'm trying to find somebody else with the same problem.


How long did it take you to develop it? Caused by predisone? How about the injections? Do they cause this too?

I've only been on short courses over the coarse of 11 years. Too many times to count; but only for maybe two months at a time. I've also had too many cortisone shots to count during this time as well.

Has your doctor seen much of this? He doesn't expect it to go away? How long have you had it?

K....I think that's my 20 questions for now. (I will reserve the right to ask more


It occurs when you have too much prednisone in your system. Its part of "Cushing Syndrome"; round face, fat additions around the middle of body and "buffalo hump" and I was completely starving. I also became very "hyper", became a non stop talker and acquired facial hair to top it off.

I developed this 2 times when I was on daily prednisone 20mg or more for an extended period of time, several months continuously. I think this is probably something that is determined on an individual basis. We all seem to react differently to medications.When this syndrome appeared the prednisone was stopped as rapidly as possible, under supervision of my Rheu... This doesn't happen with the Cortisone shots, they don't enter the bloodstream. No worry there. The syndrome symptoms all go away except the weight gain and the buffalo hump.


Alternate Names : Buffalo Hump

Common Causes

  • extended use of some steroids (glucocorticoids such as prednisone, cortisone, and hydrocortisone)
  • extreme obesity
  • hypercortisolism (caused by Cushing's syndrome)

I have something similar, Barb, but behind one arm, sort of where it meets my back.  About the size of a large elongated egg. The doc told me it was a capsule of fat that formed when I lost a lot of weight (110 lbs) too quickly some years ago, long before lovely prednisone. He laughed and said he could remove it, but that it's just a cosmetic issue. (Cosmetic, vanity--my butt.  He should carry the thing around for awhile, right?) Never had him do it, though.  Never cared enough, I guess.  I figure it was better than a bump on my rear end or something more obvious...


Thanks for the laugh Sara.

Lovie - I am currently taking 10mg of prednisone and hoping to be able to start reducing the amount very soon.

Meme - they would just consider it cosmetic surgery and ins would not pay for it. I'll just have to live with it, but I don't have to like it.


                                                       xoxoxoxoxox  meme


Wishing you the best.

I had the same problem last year. I felt the pain but my daughter was the first to notice it. It was large. I was on 20 mg of prednisone a day and also taking steroid shots/with nerve blocking. I actually went to get a massage as it made me nausea when I would rub it... but after a few months of not taking prednisone or the shots IT DID GO AWAY. I know how ugly it made me feel but mine did go away after med and/or some massage therapy.
LandaHi Barb:  Guess what?  I have the proverbial "buffalo hump" because I've been on 30 mg. of Pred. for a year and have tapered to 10mg. My symptoms returned, swelling and painful feet, hands, wrist, knees, and shoulder.  I had to up my dose to 20 mg.  I expect the hump to disappear along with all of the other fat pads that I've accumulated over the last year once I'm off the Pred.    They seem to be everywhere, including my facial cheeks.  You're not alone and yes I'm vain and I think it's ugly but I know that there's nothing I can do about it until I taper off meds.  Hang in there and you to will be tapering and your hump will magically disappear one day.I have that awful, ugly hump!! I've had it for at least 6
months if not more. I was on5-15 mg of pred for
about 1 year. I hat wearing shirts with out collars. So
discouraging. So it really goes way?????? You
mean there's hope????

So glad to here that there's hope Lindy! Your facial
waxing sounds nice. It really is important to treat
yourself to the little things once in a while, because
we have to take good care of us!

I have been off pred for about 1 week, so really going
to try to watch what I eat (especially the carbs!!!) and
hopefullly my ankles will quits swelling so much.


and yes - i got the hump too.............


woobieI had the upper back hump when I was on Pred.  And the round "moon" face too.  They both left within 3-4 months after stopping the Pred.  I just made sure that my hair covered it, or if my hair was up, that I was wearing something that minimized it. (Not a low cut in the back sweater for example.) Does anyone have it who was not on these drugs? I've never taken any pred.

Woobie, you and I think alike! I was singing that song ever since this thread first appeared! It doesnt help that my daughter and her friends are constantly jamming this CD on the radio.

Kutez-some people just have it...it can be a genetic trait.

I found this post googling "buffalo hump".  I do not have any kind of arthritis to my knowledge, but thought I would reply here b/c I have not been able to find much info elsewhere.

 I've had this soft tissue at below the back of my neck for almost 2 months now and my doctor has not been able to tell me why or what has caused it.  It just came up all of a sudden.  At first, I just felt "pulling" in that area but now it is painful.  Can't tell if the pain is from the tissue itself or the tissue is aggrevated by general neck/shoulder strain, etc. 

First thing NP asked was have you used a lot of steriods lately.  To which I replied...uh, yes..this office has prescribed them along with my allergist several times since last fall.  I was treated with approximately 4-5 rounds of steriods (probably very low dosage) between Oct 06- Mar 07 for severe sinus/allergy problem.  Other than that, I use a type of steriod nose spray daily (which from what I have read wouldn't be an issue). 

The use of steriods has not been mentioned again by the NP or the doc on my 3-4 follow up visits trying to determine what has caused this and why it is causing pain.  What they have done is a c-spine, chest x-ray, CT scan.  CT scan results suggested fatty tissue may be result of steriod use and/or Cushings Disease.  So they then tested my cortisol level for Cushings...negative BUT now they want me back in to test my hormone level for polysystic ovarian disease.  Based upon what I've read about that...I have absolutely none of the symptoms. 

Yes, I'm about ready to go to another doc but wanted to post to see if anyone had any advice or suggestions.



my sister-in-law has had all the symptoms of RA, PMR and had dozens of tests, including MRI, under 6 dr's. care and no one has dx her at all with anything,,,,,can't find ANYTHING WRONG....

however she has had this "hump", facial hair and is now in a hospital bed, not able to get up only to bathroom....

Cushings syndrome - all the classic symtoms but not one of them gave her any diagnoses      scary no one knows about these diseases...

sound venting      thanks for listening.......rose
Wow, I was way to annoyed with my 'moon face' to notice the back of my neck!! Working my way down from 5....mgs. , 1mg a week, meI answered this post last year when I was taking 20mg of Pred.  Now I'm down to 7.5 and I notice that the buffalo hump has gotten smaller and is almost gone.  There is hope after all.  Lindy 

I had a large buffalo hump for many years, but mine went away when I lost a lot of weight. I'm still on 20 mgs of prednisone a day, but now I don't have trouble with compulsive eating or gaining weight. Why - I don't knw.


Kute-z,  When I was having a shoulder problems I also developed a bump that was visible and when I felt it, it was hard and also a "soft tissue" problem.  It felt like a knot.  I started seeing a physical therapist and it helped so much.  I went 3x a week, had massages, heat therapy, exercises.  It really helped.  The pain (and bump) almost completely disappeared.  Hope all goes well with you.

First, I want to say how much I appreciate web sites like this one.  Both of my parents have arthritis, and I see their suffering each day.  I started searching this site because of a lump at the back of my neck, you guys call it a buffalo hump.  My grandson noticed mine last week, and I have felt this pulling at the back of my neck for some time.  I am not on steroids or any type of arthritis medication, and do not know why I have this lump.  I am going to the doctor 1st of next week but would appreciate any insight as to why I have this.  It must seem insignificant to those of you who struggle every day with arthritis pain and problems and I sincerely hope that each of you find the therapy and medication that you need to help you have better lives!

Dyna, I had this happen, along with all the other Cushing's symptoms. But mine happened when I was getting "trigger point" injections of cortisone! I know you are not supposed to get them from injections, but I was not on any oral steroids at the time.

My PCP who was giving me 3 cortisone injections in my back every 3 months for 2-3 years, said that was definitely the cause. My pain specialist noticed it too. Got the round face and everything.

Of course when the Cushing's symptoms became noticable, they immediately stopped the injections. That was when I went up from high doses of Vicodin, for pain, to the narcotic pain meds, which I have been on ever since. The injections really did help the pain,

My face went back to normal and the hump went away when they stopped the steroid injections.

Of course, I am now so bent over, because of scoliosis and OA in my spine, that I don't know if you could even tell if I did still have it

I have received local injections of steroids again since then, but not the amount at one time, that I used to. In fact I am currently going thru Medial Nerve Blocks and Facet joint injections. But they haven't caused it again, yet (knock on wood).

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that they can go away.

Have a good night, everybody


Yes I have the hump!!!!!!  Had it for a long time, it is also a symptom/sign of sleep apnoea so I was told when I had my sleep study done.  Not nice but I am nothing like I used to be like and I hate my husband seeing me during intimate times, I am so ashamed of how I look and so frustrated that I can't seem to do anything about it. On days like today I tell myself I am just going to come off of the pred and put up with the terrible disease symptoms but every secondary disease such as lung problems/ inflammation of my eyes,  they always put me on higher doses of pred!!!!!!  Can't seem to ever get off of it and its been 7 years now.  I have let my hair grow but I know the hump is there and it annoys me along with the fat face, acne, weight gain, glaucoma, high blood pressure, cholesterol probs, bruising, hunger pangs, hair loss, osteoporosis, fractures not healing in my feet, infections, all from the prednisone!!!!!!!

Can't live without it though, hugs Janie.

Sending hugs to all of us with these humps.  I think they add character - that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. 


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