What is this Bump on my wrist?
A ganglion cyst contains a clear, thick, mucus-like fluid. No one knows what triggers the formation of a ganglion. Women are more likely to develop ganglion cyst over men. Ganglia are common among more athletic people like gymnasts, cheerleaders, or even yogis, who repeatedly apply stress to the wrist.
What is this caused by?
Ganglion cysts arise from the pocket of a joint, or the cover of a tendon. They can be found in diverse places on the wrist. A ganglion cyst that grows on the top of the wrist is called a dorsal ganglion. Some are located at the end joint of a finger, or at the base of a finger, or the underside of the wrist, between the thumb and your pulse point. Typically, these are harmless and will often disappear in time.
Because the fluid-filled sac puts pressure on the nerves that pass through the joint, some ganglion cysts may be painful.
A ganglion grows out of a joint, like a balloon on a stalk. It rises out of the connective tissues between bones and muscles. Inside the balloon is a thick, slippery fluid similar to the fluid in your joints. Usually, the more active the wrist, the larger the cyst becomes. With rest, the lump generally decreases in size.
What Do I Need to Do to Get Rid of This?
- Observation. Since a ganglion is not cancerous and may disappear with time, just watching and waiting ensuring that no unusual changes occur, may be enough to have a patient live with.
- Immobilization. Too much activity often causes the ganglion to become bigger in size which can be painful, because activity increases pressure on the nerves. To relieve symptoms, a wrist brace or splint may be worn, allowing the ganglion to shrink in size. As pain lessens, your doctor may prescribe exercises to strengthen the wrist and improve range of motion.
- Aspiration. Fluid may be drained from the ganglion cyst. This treatment is called “aspiration.” The area around the ganglion cyst is numbed and the cyst is punctured with a needle so that the fluid may be drained.
- Surgical Treatment. Nonsurgical treatment leaves the outer shell and the stalk of the ganglion intact, so it may reform and reappear. By having outpatient surgery, the chances of reoccurrence are at its lowest and is often times the best treatment for cyst that won’t go away on their own. Surgery may also include removing part of the involved joint capsule or tendon sheath. There may be some tenderness, discomfort, and swelling after surgery. Normal activities usually may be resumed two to six weeks after surgery.
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