Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ganglion Cyst

At least once every quarter, for all of the years I have been in practice, I see a patient with a swelling on their wrist, ankle or foot.  This common problem is a ganglion cyst.  These cysts are located on tendons and occasionally are tender but more often just seem to develop painlessly for no reason.  The tendon sheath may rupture suddenly or slowly and allow the fluid to bulge out.  The swelling is filled with a thick gelatinous substance called synovial fluid and it can feel spongy or firm. 

Most ganglion cysts can be diagnosed just by vision and palpating it.  If they are on extensor tendons, they might bulge more when the joint is moved and disappear when it is flexed.

A majority of ganglion cysts disappear without treatment.  If it is painful, the doctor might aspirate it with a needle.  About 1/4 of patients will have a recurrence after removal and aspiration can be tried again.  Surgical removal is needed only if it is painful or causes numbness in the hand or fingers.

There is no way to prevent a ganglion cyst from occurring.  In the old days a patient would undergo "bible treatment".  Grandma would whack it with a heavy bible.  We don't recommend that any longer.

11 comments:

Toni Brayer, MD said...

Readers: When you see deleted comments, please know that these are spam, phony comments that are simply there to provide a link to another commercial site. Unfortunately for ethical bloggers, this is becoming far too common and so I am deleting them when I see them.

body lift guide said...

Ganglion cysts occur most commonly on the back of the hand in the wrist joint and can also develop on the palm side of the wrist.

Frank Irwin said...

Huh. This must be what I had on the top of my wrist. It just went away on its own, thankfully, because I don't own a bible.

Frank Irwin said...

I like extra ganglion cysts in my cabbage soup.

Anonymous said...

Please stop hitting yourselves with bibles and dictionaries!! Start drinking aloe vera juice. An ounce or two a day cures a great many things including cysts.

Bill said...

I had one a couple years back and it was pretty painful. Ended up pushing it against the inside of a walk in freezer at work then hitting it really hard off the stainless steel. Went away soon after. Painful but worth it.

Anonymous said...

Mine is very painful, 8 to 12 month waiting period to see specialist, am worried what it will be like once I finally do get in to see someone.

Anonymous said...

I have one too the underside of my wrist. Hurts a little when i write or carry stuffs which are too heavy. I hope it will go away too... Without the bible bashing.

Anonymous said...

i had it from last 2 weeks...its very tiny and have started drinking aloe vera juice from yesterday...doctor said it will vanish of its own...its not paining but feel discomfort in the arm...had anyone got benefit with aloevera juice?

Pradeep Singh said...

I have one since last week on my wrist, its tiny and painless, but i want to get rid of it. Please suggest the remedies:
1: Aloe Vera juice
any thing else, no hitting please, i am afraid hitting could lead to something more messy...

And what is the actual cause of it any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

i had it since last 1 week a tiny one,
Any tried and tested solutions?
Aloe Vera juice is what i am considering one of those,, any thing else??
And please also suggest the actual cause of this? excessive keyboard usage?