Article Featured on Michigan Hand & Wrist
Ganglion cysts are noncancerous lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. They also may occur in the ankles and feet. Ganglion cysts are typically round or oval and are filled with a jellylike fluid.
Small ganglion cysts can be pea-sized, while larger ones can be around an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. Ganglion cysts can be painful if they press on a nearby nerve. Their location can sometimes interfere with joint movement.
If your ganglion cyst is causing you problems, your doctor may suggest trying to drain the cyst with a needle. Removing the cyst surgically also is an option. But if you have no symptoms, no treatment is necessary. In many cases, the cysts go away on their own.
Here are the most common questions about Ganglion Cysts
Q: What is a ganglion cyst?
A: A ganglion cyst is a buildup of fluid under the skin, and although they can occur anywhere on the body, they are most commonly found on the wrist, feet, or ankles.
Q: What are the symptoms of a ganglion cyst?
A: The most common symptoms of a ganglion cyst include:
- A firm, round lump under the skin.
- Joint pain around the affected area.
- Swelling, numbness, and muscle weakness surrounding the cyst.
Q: What causes a ganglion cyst?
A: The cause is not known at this time.
Q: How is a ganglion cyst diagnosed?
A: A licensed medical professional will perform a thorough examination may involve any of the following:
- Moving the joint around the cyst while performing a visual inspection.
- An ultrasound of the affected area.
- An MRI of the joint where the cyst is located.
Q: How is a ganglion cyst treated.
A: While, some ganglion cysts pose no threat and will go away on their own, some require one or more of the following treatment methods:
- Aspiration, or draining, of the cyst to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.
- A steroid injection directly into the cyst.
- Surgical removal of the cyst.
Q: What can I do to manage the symptoms?
A: Your medical professional will likely suggest one of the following:
- Hand therapy designed to help improve movement and reduce pain.
- A protective splint that will limit movement and shrink the cyst.
- If surgery is required, proper wound care will prevent tissue damage and reduce pain and swelling.
Q: When should I seek professional care?
A: Seek the assistance of a medical professional if you experience any of the following:
- You are experience pain, numbness, or limited motion in the affected joint.
- The limb containing a cyst gets stiff, unstable, numb, or weak.
- A previously treated cyst returns or grows.
- Your pain is ongoing after treatment.
New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.
Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.
If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.