Fear and uncertainty come to mind when a lump appears on your hands or wrist, but it may simply be a ganglion. Before taking advantage of a free hand screening, take a moment to consider why ganglion cysts are the most common growth to affect the hands and wrists and how its growth rate may differ to each person.
How Quickly Do Ganglion Cysts Become Noticeable?
Individuals putting extreme, repeated pressure on the wrists and joints on the hand are more likely to develop a ganglion. For instance, gymnasts may be more likely to develop a cyst more than their peers. The ganglion results when fluid from a joint becomes trapped within the protective covering of the tendon sheath. The exact cause of entrapment of fluid remains unknown, but strong evidence suggests repeated stress or movements of the joint may lead to micro-injuries, reports U.S. National Library of Medicine. With time, fluid fills the structure, creating the bulging appearance.
It is possible to have a ganglion cyst and be unaware of its presence. Most people only notice a cyst of this type when it interferes with routine daily activities or becomes painful. If the cyst forms on the fingers, it is known as a mucous cyst. Depending on the exact place of formation, such as formation close to a nerve, routine movements may lead to pain when the fluid-filled cyst is compressed. For individuals using their hands for work or strenuous activity, the cyst may become noticeable at a faster rate.
How Fast Does It Grow?
A ganglion can grow up to one-inch in diameter (approximately 2.5 cm), reports the Mayo Clinic. Unlike some growths, a ganglion may form more quickly, especially following a trauma to the joint. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the speed of growth is related to how often the joint is used, as well as how often extreme stress is placed upon the joint.
For example, an office worker may see faster growth of a cyst in the fingers, and a gymnastic may see faster growth of a cyst in the wrists. Although more common in individuals between ages 15 and 40, these growths are also prevalent in women with arthritis between ages 40 and 70.
It is difficult to determine the exact speed of growth due to the co-occurrence of injuries before cyst formation. If the significant swelling is present, it may overshadow cyst formation. As a result, some people may notice the development of a cyst within days to weeks after an injury. Meanwhile, the cyst can reach its fullest potential, similar to the size of a golf ball, at any time, depending on the activity associated with the joint. Someone using the joint continuously may see a one-inch cyst growth within the first week.
Find Out More About That Lump on Your Hand or Wrist With a Free Screening Now.
A ganglion may remain painless for weeks or years, but it could become painful. If it is still small, aspiration in a medical office may be useful for removing the fluid and providing relief. However, each case differs and depending on your lifestyle, other treatment options may exist. Stop spending time in pain or worrying, and find out if you may be living with one or more ganglion cysts today. Schedule your free hand screening online now, or give the Florida Hand Center a call at 1 (941) 625-3782 today.