Hidden Facts About Ganglion Cyst: What Are Causes, Meaning, Symptoms and Treatment

What are the things you should know about this mysterious bumps and lumps? This is actually Ganglion cyst.

Have you knew someone or might probably yourself have mysterious bumps and lumps on skin? It can be alarming and the same time disturbing in your daily routine.

What is Ganglion cyst?

Ganglion cyst—a benign fluid-filled lump that grows on the joints or tendons, it can start with dot size until it become an inch size. By recognizing it, point a flashlight at your lump. If light shines through it, you know you have a ganglion cyst.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 60 to 70 percent develop on the front or back of the wrist. And it can also develop in the finger and feet which is near any joint.

It’s actually younger women—age 20 to 40—who are most plagued by these cysts. Even super-fit folks and children can develop them.

What are Causes of ganglion cysts?

Actually no one knows what causes a ganglion cyst to form. Some of the theories include:

-The body responds to injury, trauma or overuse by forming an internal 'blister'.
-Small tears in the tendon membrane or joint capsule allow the contents to squeeze out.

What are the Symptoms of ganglion cysts?

The symptoms of a ganglion cyst include:

-It has visible swelling or lump.
-The lump is able to change its size, including going away completely only to return.
-The lump is usually soft and immobile.
-In some cases, the lump is painful and aching, particularly those at the base of fingers.
-The ache and pain is made worse by moving any nearby joints.
-The affected tendon may cause a sensation of muscular weakness.
-The back of the hands and wrists are most commonly affected.
-Other sites include the back of the knee (Bakers cyst), ankle, foot, palm and fingers.

How ganglion cysts can be diagnosed?

Ganglion cysts are diagnosed using a number of tests including:

-Medical history
-Physical examination
-Needle aspiration (a fine needle is used to draw off fluid, which is then examined in a laboratory).

What are the Treatments for ganglion cysts?

Have you ever heard about the term 'Bible therapy'? Ganglion cysts used to be treated by slamming them with a heavy book such as a Bible. This isn't a good idea, as you could cause further injury. Medical treatment options include:

Close monitoring - if the ganglion cyst isn't causing pain or interfering with movement, some doctors prefer to wait and see. The cyst may simply disappear on its own.

Needle aspiration - one of the tests to diagnose ganglion cysts involves drawing off the fluid with a fine needle. In many cases (around 75 per cent), this treatment empties the cyst and no further action is needed.

Surgery - if your lump keeps coming back or is in an awkward spot, surgery—a more permanent solution—may be recommended. The cyst or cysts are surgically removed, usually by a specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon. Ganglion cysts of the feet will usually require surgery.

The truth is, once you’ve had a ganglion, you’re prone to getting them again. Ganglion cysts may grow back after treatment. This is less likely if your cysts were surgically removed rather than aspirated with a needle. Some estimates suggest that around half of patients who undergo needle aspiration can expect a recurrence. Since the cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, prevention is impossible. If you suspect your ganglion cyst is recurring, see your doctor for further treatment. A ganglion cyst that is aspirated three times has a better than 80 per cent chance of being cured.

Did you know that around 30 to 50 per cent of ganglion cysts disappear by themselves without the need for medical treatment? However, it is always best to consult your doctor to make sure the lump isn't a symptom of some other disease. If your ganglion cyst is painful, or if it interferes with your mobility or causes sensations of numbness or pins and needles, see your doctor.