Ganglion cysts are lumps that develop on the wrists and hand near joints and tendons. These cysts are collections of clear fluid, and typically are not painful and won’t interfere with movement. Cysts that do cause pain or limited movement can be treated in several ways.
Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts
The first sign of a ganglion cyst is the presence of an unusual lump on or around a joint – usually a wrist joint. These cysts can form rapidly or slowly over time. Many cysts will change in size over time and even disappear. While most ganglion cysts are only an aesthetic concern, some cysts can cause pain, tenderness, or limit movement.
Causes of Ganglion Cysts
Ganglion cysts may develop when the lubricating fluid from inside the wrist leaks out of the capsule. These cysts tend to be more common in individuals who have sustained previous injuries or have had a history of tendonitis.
Your Treatment Options
Once a cyst has developed, there is a chance it will go away on its own. Individuals whose cysts do not cause pain or other symptoms often choose not to seek treatment for their ganglion cysts. For those who wish to get rid of their cyst, there are a few options. The simplest treatment involves extracting the fluid in the cyst by puncturing it. This is done with a needle and may include injections of anti-inflammatory drugs and anesthetic. While effective, this solution can be temporary as cysts that are treated in this way can reappear.
Surgical removal is a long term option for treating your ganglion cysts. A small incision is made through which the cyst and the stalk that connects it to the joint capsule are removed. People whose cysts cause them pain or limited movement are typically good candidates for a surgical treatment for their ganglion cysts.