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Ganglion cysts are harmless tumors, masses or lumps that occur adjacent to joints or tendons, and are most commonly found on the hands and wrists. Depending on the extent of the concurring wrist activity, these lumps are susceptible to frequently appearing, disappearing or changing in size.
Ganglion cysts grow from the tissues that surround the joints, including ligaments, sheaths and joint linings, and are filled with fluid. This fluid is similar to the fluid that lubricates the body’s joints. A majority of ganglion cysts occur in people between 20 to 40 years of age, with women being three times more likely to develop cysts than men.
Ganglion cysts are extremely difficult to prevent but may reduce in size or pain through early detection, proper evaluation and reduced usage of the associated joint.
Ganglion cysts usually appear in the form of a visible, immovable, yet soft bump on the surface of the skin. However, occult ganglion cysts may remain hidden, never fully breaching the skin’s surface.Other than appearance, ganglion cysts typically do not display noticeable symptoms. Depending on its location, though, there’s a possibility that the cyst will connect with a tendon, causing symptoms of pain and muscle weakness in an accompanying finger. Pain and a tingling sensation are clear indications that the condition may be chronic and will potentially worsen through continuous joint movement.
A physical exam is typically all that is needed to diagnose a ganglion cyst, but physicians may get further condition confirmation through testing a small portion of the cyst’s liquid or performing an ultrasound, X-ray or MRI.
Ganglion cysts typically do not require treatment, since they are not necessarily harmful to an individual’s health. If the ganglion cyst is painful, interferes with wrist functioning, grows into an unacceptable appearance, or severely limits an individual’s ability to perform every day activities, our physicians can perform minor surgical procedures to reduce symptoms or completely eliminate ganglion cysts. In ganglion cyst removal, a doctor will remove the cyst capsule or stalk in order to completely remove the cyst and prevent ganglion cysts from recurring. Even though our surgical procedure is extremely effective for the removal of the ganglion cyst’s root and hindering its ability to grow back, there is always a small chance that the cyst may eventually return.