What are ganglion cysts?
A ganglion cyst is a round, fluid-filled lump of tissue that usually appears
along tendons or joints. It typically occurs on the wrist or hand, but it can
also appear on the ankle or foot.
Ganglion cysts can be as large as an inch across. Some cysts are visible
underneath the skin, but others are so small that you can’t see them. They’re
common and usually harmless. They aren’t cancerous. Most go away without
are the symptoms of a ganglion cyst?
The most common symptoms of a ganglion cyst include a visible lump,
discomfort, and pain. If the cyst is on your foot or ankle, you may feel
discomfort when walking or wearing shoes. If it’s near a nerve, a ganglion cyst
can sometimes cause:
- a loss of mobility
- a tingling sensation
Some ganglion cysts can become bigger or smaller over time.
causes a ganglion cyst?
Ganglion cysts occur when fluid accumulates in a joint or around the tendons
This accumulation can occur due to injury, trauma, or overuse, but often the
cause is unknown.
Ganglion cysts are more likely to develop in women and people who repeatedly
stress their wrists, such as gymnasts.
are ganglion cysts diagnosed?
Your doctor will first examine the lump. They’ll ask you about your medical
history and how long you’ve had the lump. They’ll also ask you about your symptoms.
They may order imaging tests, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, especially
if they can’t see the lump. They may take a sample of the fluid in the cyst for
are ganglion cysts treated?
Ganglion cysts often go away without treatment. If the cyst doesn’t cause
pain or discomfort, treatment isn’t necessary. Your doctor may advise you to do
- Avoid repetitive
hand and wrist movements.
- Wear a wrist
brace because immobilization might cause the cyst to shrink.
- Wear shoes that
don’t touch the cyst if it’s on your foot or ankle.
If your ganglion cyst causes pain or limits your mobility, your doctor may
aspirate it. During this procedure, they’ll remove fluid from the cyst with a
syringe. Surgical removal is an option if other treatments haven’t worked. However,
the cyst may return even if your doctor surgically has surgically removed it.