Ganglion cysts of the wrist and hand in Louisiana are noncancerous lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands, but they may also occur in the ankles and feet. They are typically round or oval and are filled with a jellylike fluid.
Small ganglion cysts can be pea-sized, while larger ones can be around an inch in diameter. They can be painful if they press on a nearby nerve and their location can sometimes interfere with joint movement.
If your ganglion cyst is causing you problems, your orthopedic surgeon may suggest trying to drain the cyst with a needle. Removing the cyst surgically is also an option. But if you have no symptoms, no treatment is necessary because in many cases, they will go away on their own.
Symptoms of Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist and Hand in Louisiana
The lumps associated with ganglion cysts can be characterized by the following.
- Location: They most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. The next most common locations are the ankles and feet.
- Shape and size: Some are so small that they can’t be felt. The size of a cyst can fluctuate, often getting larger when you use that joint for repetitive motions.
- Pain: Ganglion cysts are typically painless, but if one presses on a nerve – even if the cyst is too small to form a noticeable lump – it can cause pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.
Causes of Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist and Hand in Louisiana
No one knows exactly what causes a ganglion cyst to develop. It grows out of a joint or the lining of a tendon, looking like a tiny water balloon on a stalk, and seems to occur when the tissue that surrounds a joint or a tendon bulges out of place. Inside the cyst is a thick lubricating fluid similar to that found in joints or around tendons.
Risk factors include:
- Your sex and age. While they can develop in anyone, they most commonly occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40.
- Osteoarthritis. People who have wear-and-tear arthritis in the finger joints closest to their fingernails are at higher risk of developing ganglion cysts near those joints.
- Joint or tendon injury. Joints or tendons that have been injured in the past are more likely to develop ganglion cysts.Diagnosis of Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist and Hand in Louisiana
During the physical exam, your orthopedic surgeon may apply pressure to the cyst to test for tenderness or discomfort. He or she may try to shine a light through the cyst to determine if it’s a solid mass or filled with fluid.
Your doctor might also recommend imaging tests to rule out other conditions, such as arthritis or a tumor. MRIs and ultrasounds also can locate hidden cysts. A ganglion cyst diagnosis may be confirmed by aspiration, a process in which your doctor uses a needle and syringe to draw out the fluid in the cyst. Fluid from a ganglion cyst will be thick and clear or translucent.
Treatment of Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist and Hand
Ganglion cysts are often painless, and require no treatment. Your doctor may suggest a watch-and-wait approach. If the cyst is causing pain or interfering with joint movement, your doctor may recommend:
- Immobilization. Because activity can cause the ganglion cyst to get larger, it may help to temporarily immobilize the area with a brace or splint.
- Aspiration. In this procedure, your doctor uses a needle to drain the fluid from the cyst.
- Surgery. During this procedure, the doctor removes the cyst and the stalk that attaches it to the joint or tendon.
If you notice any symptoms of a ganglion cyst of the wrist and hand in Louisiana and would like a diagnosis and/or treatment, call our office today to schedule a consultation. It may be nothing, but it might also be something, so don’t take chances – call us today!