A ganglion cyst is a common problem that isn’t usually a cause for concern. However, because these cysts can cause uncomfortable symptoms or other problems, many people decide to treat them.
What Is a Ganglion Cyst?
A ganglion cyst is a small round or oval cyst that usually develops along the joints or tendons in the hands and wrists. Ganglion cysts vary in size considerably, ranging from small pea-sized cysts to cysts that measure more than 2 cm in diameter.
Although most ganglion cysts are painless, some can cause discomfort. Some of the symptoms you may experience include pain, tingling, muscle weakness or numbness.
If your ganglion cyst is not causing any symptoms, your doctor may recommend watching the cyst carefully without any specific treatment.
If your cyst is painful, the most conservative treatment option involves immobilizing the area using a splint or brace. This may cause the cyst to shrink, which will relieve some of the discomfort. However, it is important not to keep the area immobile for too long, as this may lead to muscle weakness.
When immobilization isn’t an appropriate or sufficient treatment, your doctor may use a needle to aspirate the fluid from the cyst if it is not located in an area where there are nerves or arteries. Once the fluid is removed, the pain should subside. However, cysts treated using this method have a high likelihood of recurrence.
The most reliable treatment available to patients with ganglion cysts is surgery. In this type of surgery, the doctor will remove the cyst entirely. Cysts can recur after surgery in some cases.
If you think you may have a ganglion cyst, making an appointment with a hand specialist is the best way to get a definitive diagnosis and learn about treatment options. Please contact the Florida Hand Center today to learn more.