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Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst refers to a bump filled with fluids that normally forms along the joints or the tendons of the wrists or hands. It is also possible to observe a ganglion cyst on the feet.

A ganglion cyst may appear suddenly, or may grow slowly over a period of time. The exact cause of the disorder is yet unknown.

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A large number of ganglion cyst cases do not cause pain and often do not require treatment. They mostly tend to disappear on their own. One can visit a doctor, on the rare occasions when a ganglion cyst restricts the joints movements or becomes painful. Since, ganglion cysts can be unsightly, affected individuals may also seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. Treatment generally involves elimination of the fluids from the cyst, or removal of the complete cyst via surgery.

Symptoms of a ganglion cyst

Some of the signs and symptoms of a ganglion cyst are mentioned below:

  • A ganglion cyst can occur as a raised lump on the joints of the fingers or on the wrist. A ganglion cyst that develops on the wrist joint is the most prevalent form of the disorder. One may notice the occurrence of the elevated bumps on the foot and ankle, in about 11 percent of the total cases.
  • A ganglion cyst is globular, firm and smooth
  • They are mostly composed of fluids
  • Most ganglion cysts do not cause pain. In certain cases, a ganglion cyst may wield pressure on the nerves near the affected joint, resulting in numbness, weakness or pain
  • The size of a ganglion cyst is dependent on the degree of activity undertaken by the patient. Lowered use of the joint leads to an undersized cyst, while high use can cause a larger bump.
  • In some cases, the main symptom of a ganglion cyst, i.e. a fluid filled raised lump may not be present, with the only sign of its occurrence being pain. These forms of ganglion cysts can be diagnosed through an ultrasound or an MRI

Causes of a ganglion cyst

  • The precise cause of a ganglion cyst is not known. It grows on a joint and has the appearance of a balloon that is hanging on a stick. It mostly develops due to dislocation or bulging out of the tissue occurring next to a tendon or a joint. A thick fluid can be seen within these cysts and this fluid is just like that present in joints or around tendons.
  • Any type of trauma or harm to the joints or tendons of the hands or feet can elevate the vulnerability to developing a ganglion cyst in the injured regions
  • Women are more commonly affected by a ganglion cyst as compared to men
  • Osteoarthritis is a kind of arthritis result from normal wear and tear. It tends to increase the amounts of fluid within the joints. Such fluids then leak into the tendon capsule and accumulate into an existing bump

Ganglion cyst Treatment

Treatment of a ganglion cyst involves the following:

  • Immobilization: A ganglion cyst has a tendency to become larger with motion. Hence, the affected region is immobilized with the help of a wrist brace or a splint. This allows the hand and wrist to rest, resulting in decrease in the size of the lump and release of stress on the nerves, thus reducing the pain.
  • Aspiration: This treatment method consists of fluid removal from a ganglion cyst. It can be performed at a doctor’s office. The affected area is numbed with a local anesthetic. A needle fixed to a syringe is then used to pierce the cyst and then the fluid is drawn into the syringe. A steroid injection may then be given to the drained cyst to prevent infection. Ganglion cysts treated via aspiration have greater chances of recurrence
  • Surgery of a ganglion cyst: Doctors may opt for surgical elimination of a ganglion cyst if other procedures produce unsatisfactory results.
  • During surgery:
    • A regional or local anesthetic is used to numb the affected region
    • The skin over the ganglion cyst is cut open via an incision
    • The ganglion cyst is then removed along with the stalk that attaches it to the joint or the tendon. Additionally, a tiny part of the nearby tissue may also be removed
    • The surgical incision is later sewed up and bandaged
    • Post surgery:
      • Elevation of the affected limb for 48 hours is advised to reduce swelling. Discomfort, swelling and tenderness may persist for two to six weeks
      • The doctor may give instructions on the change of bandages, which should be strictly adhered to
      • Analgesics or NSAIDs may be given to find relief from pain
      • Visit the doctor in case of redness, swelling, leakage, or infections post surgery
      • Doctors may sometimes recommend a splint or brace to reduce post surgical pain. However, most physicians advise mobilization of the affected limb after surgery
      • Patients experiencing problems in movements after surgical elimination of a ganglion cyst, may be advised to go for physical therapy to regain the strength in the affected hand, wrist or foot.

Ganglion Cyst Pictures

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One Response to "Ganglion Cyst"

  1. Emrullah says:

    AWESOME!I have a small ganglion cyst on a fiegnr and I have wanted to shoot some pics of it as it has been filling up again. But I will not bother!That shows it all. Mine is so insubstantial compared to that and my pictures would have been so lame.Mine gets less bloody, its clear and to me fascinating.Thats the hallmark of a PTZ person. If you ever thought the commercial showing someone lifting an animated corn off an animated toe was fascinating .you might be a popper.If you have ever reached out and popped (without permission) a near strangers blackhead by his ear (which was SCREAMING to be released) .you might be a serial popper.If you visit this site multiple times a week and look at the same cyst drain repeatedly .you ARE a deranged popper.And you are in excellent company.

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