Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a non-cancerous, fluid-filled protuberance that usually develops along with tendons or joints in the wrist or hand. In some cases, they may appear on the ankle or foot. Ganglion cysts are generally round or oval. A small Ganglion cyst is pea-sized, while a large one can be about an inch or more.

It can be seen in people of every age. A cyst may develop due to joint or tendon irritation. Some causes of ganglion cysts include joint or tendon injury, arthritis, trauma, joint stress, overuse of joints, and mechanical change.


Ganglion cyst may not even be painful and may go away on its own. The size of the cyst fluctuates, some get larger while some are too small that cannot even be felt. Some common symptoms are

  • The appearance of a bump on the wrist, hand, ankle, or feet along the joint or tendon
  • Swelling may appear over time or fade away
  • Usually painless, but in chronic condition or due joint movement, pain can be felt
  • A sense of weakness in the affected finger area
  • Loss of mobility
  • The sensation of pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness if the cyst presses a nerve

Treatment Options

The treatment of ganglion cysts has been always dependent on its severity. In some cases, treatment may not even be required, and they may disappear on their own. However, if it is causing pain, then treatment might be required. 

Non-surgical treatments

Various treatments have been anticipated over the years. Home remedies, self-care at home, and physical movements help to treat a ganglion cyst properly. Other medical treatments include;

  • Immobilization – Extensive movement of affected area causes an increase in the size of the cyst. Wearing a splint limits the movements and may cause the cyst to shrink.
  • Medication – In the case of pain, anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen are given, which help to provide relief from the pain.
  • Aspiration – This procedure involves placing a needle into the cyst to draw liquid material, causing the cyst to shrink. Steroids are then injected, and the wrist is strapped to prevent its movement.

Surgical treatments

Surgical intervention becomes necessary if the cyst starts to interfere with the functions, causing numbness or tingling.

  • Open surgery – This operation involves the removal of a ganglion cyst. It is performed under local anaesthesia. Firstly, the incision location is marked. Surgery involves removing the cyst or a portion of the joint capsule. The opening is then stitched. This operation is usually successful.

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