Buffalo hump; Dorsocervical fat pad
A hump on the upper back between the shoulder blades is an area of fat accumulation on the back of the neck. The medical name of this condition is dorsocervical fat pad.
A hump between the shoulder blades by itself is not a sign of a specific condition. Your health care provider must consider this along with other symptoms and test results.
Causes of dorsocervical fat pad include any of the following:
If the hump is caused by a certain medicine, your provider may tell you to stop taking the medicine or change the dosage. Do not stop taking the medicine without first talking to your provider.
Diet and exercise can help you lose weight and may relieve some fat accumulation due to obesity.
Make an appointment with your provider if you have an unexplained hump behind the shoulders.
Your provider will perform a physical examination and ask about your medical history and symptoms. Tests may be ordered to determine the cause.
Treatment will be aimed at the problem that caused the fat to develop in the first place.
Angelidi AM, Tsoukis MA, Mantzoros CS. Lipodystrophy syndromes. In: Robertson RP, Giudice LC, Grossman AB, et al, eds. DeGroot's Endocrinology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 24.
Tan SH, Tang MBY, Tey HL. Lipodystrophies. In: Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L, eds. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 101.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 5/12/2023
Reviewed By: Sandeep K. Dhaliwal, MD, board-certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, Springfield, VA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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