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Ganglion Cysts

What Is A Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts look like bumps that form on your hand, most frequently on the back of the wrist. Non-cancerous and often harmless, they can change size quickly, as well as appear and disappear. They can be round or oval, soft or hard.

Fluid-filled sacs, ganglion cysts rise out a joint, forming from the tissues surrounding your joint. The fluid found in the cysts is thick and slippery and has a composition much like your joint lubrication.

While they often form on the top of the wrist, ganglion cysts may also appear on the palm side of your wrist, the interior base of your finger, and the top finger joint.​

What Are The Causes Of A Ganglion Cyst?

The exact cause of Ganglion Cysts is unknown, but they generally occur when the tissue surrounding a joint or tendon bulges out of place. They may also be caused by trauma-related tears of the joint tissue.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Bible Cyst?

A Ganglion Cyst will appear as a bump, usually between one and three centimeters in diameter and located on the back of the wrist or the palm side at the base of the thumb. Many young people with Ganglion Cysts do not notice pain except when in an extended wrist load-bearing position, such as while planking or doing pushups. ​ Dr. Erin Nance recently worked on a study which found cysts in a ⅔ majority of people complaining about pain during these exercises. While Ganglion Cysts are the most common wrist mass, any unusual mass should always be checked out in case it is a symptom of something more serious.

What Are The Risk Factors Of A Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts can sometimes form when your tendons become irritated or your joint experiences mechanical changes, although what spurs their formation remains unknown. Specific risk factors may make developing a ganglion cyst more likely, including being:

  • A woman
  • Between 15-40
  • A gymnast (due to repeated stress on the wrist)

If you form a ganglion cyst at the end finger joint, called a mucous cyst, it typically results from arthritis, and it’s more common in older women.

How Is It Diagnosed?

The first step in treating a ganglion cyst involves confirming a diagnosis. Dr. Nance examines your lump and wrist and can often determine the type of cyst based on its location and appearance. In some cases, she may request X-rays. If you do have a ganglion cyst, Dr. Nance discusses your goals.

What Are The Possible Treatments?

In many cases, these growths don’t require treatment and disappear on their own. They’re often painless, don’t spread, and tend to be harmless. If the appearance bothers you or the ganglion cysts interferes with movement or causes pain, she may recommend an aspiration. An aspiration drains the cyst, removing the fluid and decompressing the rest of the cyst. Although this in-office procedure offers immediate results, the cyst often recurs. In cases where the cyst reappears and causes discomfort, Dr. Nance may opt to remove your ganglion cyst surgically.

To learn more about ganglion cyst treatment, call the office or go online today to schedule your appointment at Nance MD Hand Surgery.

Meet Dr. Erin Nance

Dr. Erin Nance specializes in orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgery, as well as traditional orthopedic services. Dr. Nance takes her time with every patient in her Midtown East, New York office, ensuring everyone gets the care and attention they deserve. Learn More »

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