Cyst of the Hand or Wrist Treatment in Camden, SC
A ganglion cyst is a fluid filled sac of tissue that lies beneath the skin. These commonly occur at the back of the hand or the top of the wrist, and are completely harmless in a large majority of cases.
Ganglion cysts of the hand or wrist typically grow out of a joint or tendon sheath. This sac will often continue to grow larger in size as more fluid is trapped within it, which will eventually lead to a visible bulge on the outside of the hand. This bulge may feel firm, although the actual contents of a ganglion cyst is a jellylike deposit of fluid.
What Causes a Ganglion Cyst?
There is no exact reason why an individual may develop a ganglion cyst. However, there are several factors that can make you more likely to get a ganglion cyst on your hand or wrist, including:
- Repetitive use of the wrist and hands, particularly those whose careers require such constant movements
- Being a female
- Having osteoarthritis in the hands or wrist
- Being between the ages of 15 and 40
- Prior trauma or injury to the area
Symptoms of a Ganglion Cyst
Many people will begin to notice a ganglion cyst once it has reached a substantial size. Ganglion cysts can range from being as small as a pea to a full inch in diameter. As mentioned, these lumps are rarely ever harmful, though they should be addressed if:
- They are causing significant amounts of pain, especially during everyday movements of the hand or wrist
- Surrounding structures such as nerves or other tissues become damaged from the pressure inflicted upon them by the ganglion cyst
- The appearance of the cyst becomes displeasing to the patient
Diagnosis and Treatment from Camden Bone and Joint
The process of diagnosing a ganglion cyst is usually quite simple, as these bulges are often very obvious when looking at the hand. An orthopaedic specialist will typically perform an imaging test in order to rule out any more serious conditions, such as arthritis or a tumor. X-rays and MRI scans are among the most common tests performed when diagnosing a ganglion cyst or other abnormality of the hand.
Seeking Treatment in Camden & Elgin, SC
The most simple solution to treating a ganglion cyst is to immobilize the area. This usually involves the utilization of a brace or splint to keep the many intricate joints of the hand and wrist from moving. Resting the area for at least a few hours at a time will often decrease the size of the cyst, resulting in relief from any symptoms it may be causing.
Another highly effective treatment option is to have your doctor drain the ganglion cyst using a fine needle. This process is called aspiration, which requires only a few minutes in our office to complete.
In the event that prior treatments have proved ineffective, many patients will consider surgical removal of their ganglion cyst. During this procedure, not only will your surgeon remove the cyst itself, but also the stalk that it is attached to. This stalk often stems from the joint or tendon sheath, and can cause recurring ganglion cysts to form if it is not separated from the area entirely.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about these treatment options and which one may be best for you, please call (803) 432-4498 today to set up an appointment with one of our specialists.