Ganglion Cysts – the very words sound scary. But the truth is, ganglion cysts are very common and are easily treatable.
What Are Ganglion Cysts?
Ganglion cysts are lumps within the hand or wrist.
- They are usually located next to a joint or a tendon.
- The most common locations are the base of the finger, the top of the end joint of the finger, the palm side of the wrist and the top of the wrist.
- Inside the cyst is a clear, thick, jelly-like material.
- The cyst may feel firm or spongy, depending on its size.
- Ganglion cysts may change size or disappear completely.
- Many are without symptoms except for their appearance.
- They may or may not be painful, but if they are, the pain is usually a nonstop aching which is made worse by movement of the joint.
- They are not cancerous and will not spread to other areas of the body.
- If the cyst is connected to a tendon, there may be a feeling of weakness in the affected finger.
Who Typically Gets Ganglion Cysts?
- Ganglion cysts are more common in women.
- The majority occur in people between the ages of 20-40.
The cause of ganglion cysts is a mystery but it is theorized that trauma may cause the tissue of the joint to break down forming small cysts which then join to form a larger cyst or a flaw in the joint capsule or tendon covering allows the joint tissue to bulge. It is difficult to know how to prevent ganglion cysts, however early evaluation and treatment are recommended.
How Are They Treated?
Treatment is often non-surgical. The cyst can simply be observed, especially if it is painless.
- An aspiration may be performed to remove the fluid from the cyst.
- A ganglion cyst may decrease in size over time, however, if it persists and is painful it may require surgical excision. Dr. Shah specializes in the treatment and excision of ganglion cysts.