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Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cyst is a non-cancerous bump or mass that forms under the skin. A ganglion cyst usually forms on the top of the wrist or the underside of the wrist. Ganglion is a Greek word that indicates 'a knot of tissue'. Ganglion cysts are also known to develop on the joints of the shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, foot or ankle. Ganglion cysts are noticed more commonly among women. When connective tissues around a joint become inflamed and fill with fluid, a ganglion cyst is formed. Ganglion cysts formed on the fingers can lead to deformed finger nails.


The ganglion cyst tends to grow in size when there is more activity. Large ganglions are often unsightly. Occult ganglions are smaller and remain hidden under the skin. Ganglion cysts are soft and moveable. This lump becomes larger in persons who are more active like gymnasts and apply pressure on the nerves passing through the joint. Occupational factors such as repeated pressure or excessive overuse of certain joints can lead to the formation of ganglion cysts.


A doctor will examine the lump and check its size and if there is any tenderness. Usually ganglion cysts are painless but there may be slight tenderness that can affect movement of the affected bone. X-rays or ultrasound may be taken to rule out tumors, arthritis or other bone problems. In some cases, ganglion cysts eventually disappear by themselves. But they may recur. In cases of painful ganglions, the fluid will be aspirated and drained. Persons suffering from osteoarthritis may notice mucous cysts - a type of ganglion cyst that needs surgical removal. The surrounding area is numbed and the fluid is taken out with a thin needle. Often NSAIDs are prescribed to tackle any shooting pain or ache associated with ganglion cysts. Ice packs can give some relief.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 11, 2017