At a family gathering recently I heard my niece discussing a most distressful pain and inflammation she endured last year on her wrist. It turned out to be a ganglion cyst. I mentioned that I had once had a ganglion cyst on my wrist, but that it eventually went away. Remembering that I had fallen on the hand, I wondered if something had burst. My niece said her ganglion cyst was very painful and did not go away. Her treatment was an aspiration of the fluid in the cyst, and so far shows no signs of returning. Talk soon turned to another topic, but I was lost in thought.

I recalled that I had fallen on my hand and shortly thereafter noticed the bump was gone. I wondered if something had burst at that time. That was yeas ago, and my cyst did not return. I was one of the lucky ones.

So Exactly What Is A Ganglion Cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a protruding fluid filled sac-like structure under the skin at a joint; usually the wrist, knee, or ankle .The real cause of a ganglion cyst is not truly understood. It is thought that the cyst begins when there is an inflammation in a joint. Inflammation may be from arthritis, repetitive movements or unknown causes, which is frequently the case.

The tissues around the joint also become inflamed. The tissue is called synovium, and creates the fluid that lubricates the joint and tissues surrounding the joint. This fluid, called synovial fluid, becomes a thick and gelatinous with some doctors comparing it to the clear substance in an egg. It may resemble a tumor, but it is non cancerous, benign, and will not spread to another part of the body. A cyst is not contagius..

The size may vary from time to time depending on activity. When activity increases, this usually causes more fluid and the size of the cyst enlarges. Resting the joint will sometimes decrease the size. Over time, the size of a ganglion cyst may increase or sometimes go away on it's on.

What Are the Symptoms?

Ganglion Cyst ,wiki commons

photo wiki media/commons

*Tenderness and aching in the affected joint is usually reported.

*A swelling or bump of noticeable size.

*The lump sometimes changes size depending on activity, and

may even go away.

*Joint movement may cause worsening of symptoms.

*Usually occurs at the wrist and knee, but can occur at other joints

Who Can Get A Ganglion Cyst?

Though ganglion cysts can occur in children, it is rare under age ten. About seventy percent of the cysts are found in the age groups twenty through forty years old. Approximately sixty percent of these cysts occur on the wrist, and more commonly on top of the hand at the joint.

Will The Cyst Go Away?

A ganglion cyst is unpredictable. It can go away on its on, but is more likely to become larger causing pressure and pain at the affected area. Finally, the painful symptoms will cause the person to seek medical attention

What Is the Recommended Treatment?

Ganglion Cyst ,Flickr CC,Claire Powers

flickr cc /photo by Claire Powers

The doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory and take the wait and see approach.

More often the doctor will administer tests to ensure that it is a ganglion cyst. An ultra sound may be used to determine what the bump actually is. A lump is not always a cyst, and can indicate a more serious problem where an artery or blood vessel may be causing the lump. She may decide to aspirate the fluid from the cyst and then inject an anti-inflammatory agent afterwards.

Cons to this option are the thickness of the synovial fluid, which may be difficult and painful to aspirate through the needle. When aspirations are done the sac is not removed, and unfortunately there is a fifty percent chance of the cyst reforming. Other options are surgical removal of the cyst. , and then inject a anti-inflammatory

At one time, an "old wives tale" would have the person or helper take a heavy book and hit the lump, hoping the that the cyst would burst. Under no circumstances is this advised! The lining of the cyst is still there, and will probably return. Further injury may occur, and this would be particularly serious if the lump was not a ganglion cyst.

Copyright Jackie D. Kimball all rights reserved according to DMCA .

Disclaimer:This article is for information only , and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Persons experiencing health problems should seek medical attention.