January 9, 2019 | Staff
A ganglion cyst is a tumor or lump that primarily develops along the joints or tendons of your wrists and ankles. These cysts are usually full of a flaccid fluid. Inside the cyst is a thick, sticky, clear, colorless, jellylike material. Depending on the size, cysts may feel firm or spongy. The location of a cyst can sometimes hinder joint motion and pain is felt when they press on an adjacent nerve.
Ganglion cysts are oval or round in shape and typically measure 2.5 centimeters in diameter, while smaller ones can be roughly the size of a pea. In some cases, the lump is so small that a person cannot feel them. The size of the cyst can reduce or increase depending on the usage of a joint in repetitive motion.
Ganglion cysts are usually painless making them hard to notice at times. However, even if the cyst is too minute to form a lump, it can cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness and tingling. Ganglion cysts usually grow along the ankles and feet and also along the joints of the hands. They can also develop on other joints as well and tend to flare up when it presses on a nearby nerve.
The causes of a ganglion cyst are still not definitive, though we know that it develops out of a lining of a tendon or a joint and looks like a balloon filled with water. A cyst develops when tissues that engulf a tendon or joint move out of their position.
While everyone is at certain risk of developing a ganglion cyst, women between the ages of 20 and 40 seem to be at a particularly higher risk bracket. Seemingly, it develops on tendons that have been previously injured.
During a consultation, you can learn about your treatment options. If a ganglion cyst causes irritation, there are several ways to deal with it, including draining the fluid or you may need to have a procedure done to remove the lump.
To learn more about the procedure or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call us at 800.698.1280.