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Ganglion Cysts Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are ganglion cysts?

These noncancerous lumps, ganglion cysts commonly occur along your joints or tendons of the hands or wrists. However, ganglion cyst can also occur in your feet and ankles. Normally, they are oval or round in shape and are fluid-filled. Small GC can be like the size of a pea, whereas larger cyst can be approximately of an inch in diameter. They can cause pain, if press on some close nerve. The location of ganglion cyst may also interfere with the movement of joint. In case, GC is cause trouble, the doctor may recommend a procedure that includes draining out the cyst through a needle. On the other hand, removing cyst through means of surgery is also an option commonly practiced nowadays. However, if there are no symptoms at all, then no treatment is required for the case. In many instances, ganglion cysts tend to heal themselves.

What are the symptoms of ganglion cyst?

Usually, GC occurs along the joints or tendons of the hands and wrists. Other common locations include feet and ankles, while GC can also develop close to other joints. They are usually oval or round in shape, whilst measure below an inch (diameter).  Few are small enough to be felt. However its size can vary. Usually, GCs are painless, though in case a cyst tends to presses on some nerve; it can then cause you pain, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling.

What causes ganglion cyst?

What exactly cause GC to develop is unknown. A theory suggests trauma responsible for causing the breakdown of joint tissues, resulting in formation of tiny cysts. Such cysts then merge into a bigger, more apparent mass.

What are the risk factors of ganglion cyst?

Certain factors known for increasing the chances of developing ganglion cysts are:

  • People suffering from osteoarthritis.
  • Any incidence of tendon or joint injury in past.
  • Women are more likely to experience GC as compared to men.
  • GCs are more commonly observed between 20-30 years of ages.

How is ganglion cyst diagnosed?

The doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam, wherein he or she will exert pressure on the cyst in order to test for discomfort or tenderness. Moreover, the doctor will then try to determine either the cyst is a hard mass or fluid-filled.

The doctor can suggest imaging tests which include MRI, ultrasound or X-rays. The tests will help him find out some other conditions for example tumor or arthritis. Aspiration can diagnose GS.

How is ganglion cyst treated?

Often, GCs are painless, needing no treatment at all. However of GCs is interfering with the movement of joint or causing pain, the doctor can suggest:

  • Aspiration: aspiration is a procedure wherein the doctor uses a needle for draining out the liquid from a cyst.
  • Surgery: surgery is also an option for treating ganglion cyst.

Moreover, activity tends to cause GC to become larger, the doctor can suggest wearing a splint or wrist brace in order to immobilize the particular area. In addition to this, as the cyst tends to contract, it release the built pressure on the nerves, easing pain.


By : Natural Health News

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