Ganglion cysts can be painful, they can change shape, and they can restrict your hands general movement. It is not completely clear what causes them, but they can be extremely annoying!
Ganglion Cysts and the Symptoms They Cause
Ganglion cysts are generally lumps which form under the skin. They are usually found on the wrist, though they are also found on the fingers, the elbow, the feet and the ankles. So, whilst they are not only restricted to the hands, they are usually more common there.
They tend to form due to tissue forming around the joints, which then become inflamed and they swell up with lubricating fluid. It is not uncommon for them to increase in size, and they can also disappear completely, spontaneously. If you do notice that the cysts grow in size, you really do not have to worry. They are not cancerous therefore their size does not mean that they are dangerous.
If anything, Ganglion cysts are more uncomfortable than anything else, and they are usually quite painless. They usually just irritate more than anything else, and occasionally movement may be restricted.The cysts do not spread and they are not contagious so you cannot pass them onto anybody else, or onto other parts of the body.
In order to be diagnosed, a doctor may suggest an x ray or some other medical test. It is important to have the cysts looked at, as though it most probably is just a cyst, there are other conditions the lump could be a symptom of. For example, you could actually have bone spur or a tumor, but the most likely cause is definitely a Ganglion Cyst. So you really do need to make sure that you get the lump checked out as soon as possible.
How to Treat Ganglion Cysts
It is possible for Ganglion cysts to simply disappear on their own accord. However, usually they tend to stay on the hand and wrist for long periods of time, growing bigger as time goes on. Once the cysts become too large, it will start to put pressure on surrounding joints. This can then become painful and uncomfortable, and when this happens removal is usually the best method of treatment.
One method of treatment includes sticking a needle into the cyst, and removing the fluid that way. However, this is not always very effective as the fluid does not always pass through the needle easily. Also, it is thought that up to 50% of people, who use this treatment method, end up with the Ganglion cyst returning again at some point in their lives.
A rather strange treatment method which is also sometimes advised is to hit the cyst with something quite big such as a book, with the aim of popping it. This does tend to work and often the cyst pops and the lining of it is destroyed also which means that it does not tend to come back.
The most effective way of treating a Ganglion cyst overall however, is to remove it completely. Surgery usually involves shelling out the cyst, which mans that both the fluid and the sac are removed. However, although this is the most effective method of treatment, there still is a chance that the cyst will return later on in life.
Overall, there is no way to completely reduce the chance of a Ganglion cyst coming back once it has been removed. All you can do is treat it and hope for the best. Occasionally splints may need to be worn if you are waiting for the cyst to disappear by itself, though really they do not tend to disappear at all, if anything they grow bigger.
Always consult your doctor before undergoing any treatment and make sure you get a correct diagnosis to make sure that the cyst is really a cyst and it is nothing more sinister.
Source by Louise Forrest