Ganglion cysts are benign lumps that are commonly known to occur along the joints or tendons in the hand or the wrist. In most cases, they are not cancerous and therefore harmless in nature. These cysts are full of fluid and have the tendency to quickly appear, disappear, and change in size. Although they can appear in several locations, they frequently develop on the back of the wrist. Other affected sites where ganglion cysts appear include the ankle, foot, palm, the back of the knee (Bakers cyst), and fingers.
Also known as Bible cysts, ganglion cysts usually do not mandate any treatment. However, there are cases wherein treatment is suggested especially if the cysts turn out to be painful, interfere with the normal day-to-day functioning or simply if they look unpleasant to the naked eye. They generally resemble small bumps while the larger ones can even look like balls lodged under the skin.
Doctors have no proper reasoning to explain what causes them, although there might be a genetic link and/or biological cause. Furthermore, according to studies, it’s also been reported that it’s far more common in women as compared to men and are known to predominantly occur between the ages of 30-60 years.
Some theories have even pointed out that suffering from an injury or a massive fall can instigate the body to form an internal blister. In some cases, these cysts are known to appear when the joints are inflamed – typically associated with arthritis. These cysts are also fairly common amongst gymnasts and body-builders who are known to apply stress to the wrist region. In case of kids however, ganglion cysts are rarely known to manifest in children younger than 10 years of age. Because the cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, prevention is said to be impossible.
Most common ganglion symptoms include:
To diagnose a ganglion cyst, a doctor will perform a thorough examination of the affected area. Subsequently, he will use the following tests to assess the extent and nature of the ganglion cyst.
Although in most cases, treatment is not required, there are a bunch of options available for treating a ganglion cyst:
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