What is a Ganglion Cyst?
are usually noncancerous round lumps that are filled with the body’s jelly-like synovial fluid. These lumps most commonly develop along the tendons and joints of your hand/wrist areas, but can even appear in the ankles or feet. Ganglion cysts vary greatly in size, with small cysts developing to the size of about a pea, and large ones increasing to over one inch in diameter
. As the cyst grows, it may begin to put pressure on nearby nerves, causing discomfort and can create numbness in the fingers or tingling in the hand. Sometimes, a growing cyst can even limit the amount of joint movement you have.
Sometimes, fluid will begin to flow into the joint capsule, creating a cyst which will continue to grow unless treated by a hand care professional. Ganglion cysts always occur close to the patient’s tendons and joints. The joints of the hand and wrist are filled with synovial fluid
, which fills the joint cavities to reduce friction between the bones. Sometimes, the synovial membrane can break, and synovial fluid will begin to flow into the joint capsule. As the amount of fluid increases, a cyst will appear and continue to grow unless it is treated by a hand care professional
How Are Ganglion Cysts Treated?
There are generally three ways to treat an advanced ganglion cyst:
- Aspiration: With a hypodermic needle, your doctor will remove the fluid from the cyst to essentially “deflate” it. Aspiration is used in some cases, but is considered an inferior method of treatment for the condition due to frequent recurrence of the cyst.
- Excision: A Renova physician will surgically remove the entire cyst from the region. Additionally, he will repair tissue defects to help prevent recurrence of the cyst (experts suggest that excision gives patients a lower chance of recurrence than aspiration).
- Arthroscopic: Widely regarded as the most effective method of ganglion cyst treatment, arthroscopic ganglion cyst removal allows Renova doctors to reach the “stalk” of the cyst that resides deep within the patient’s joint. This method of treatment yields the lowest rate of recurrence, with the experts estimating that the cyst will return in as few as 2% of arthroscopic patients.
Ganglion Cyst Removal
Historically, many patients have tried to treat ganglion cysts themselves. They have earned the term “Bible Bumps” because an outdated method of treatment would be to drop a large book on the cyst, causing it to rupture and drain into the surrounding tissue. Now, some people may still attempt to puncture/drain the cysts on their own, but this can often lead to infection and recurrence of the cyst. Therefore, doctors recommend that patients do not attempt to drain the cyst on their own
. If you suspect that you are developing a ganglion cyst, contact Renova Hand Centers immediately to schedule an appointment. For proper ganglion cyst removal, patients need to undergo outpatient surgery by an experienced hand surgeon. Renova hand doctors
will not only remove the cyst, but will also repair the joint capsule to help prevent the cyst from appearing later on
Your hands connect you to your world. Let us connect you with a Renova specialist today. Call for an appointment.