A lump that forms inside the hand near the joints or tendons is known as a ganglion cyst. This type of cyst usually looks like a small water balloon and may develop on the top of the wrist, on the palm side of the wrist, or at the base of the finger joint.
What is a Ganglion Cyst?
A ganglion cyst can develop at any time and the cause is still unknown. The cyst can change in size over time and can go away on its own. These types of cysts are usually not painful but larger cysts may cause some discomfort when bending the wrist or flexing the finger joints, deepening on where the cyst is located. The cyst is filled with a clear fluid and is not cancerous or harmful in any way.
Most people come in for treatment when the cyst has become larger or there is a change in its appearance. Dr. Kilaru will need to take x-rays to determine if the cyst is a symptom of a larger problem, or if the growth may be something else. In some cases, an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device may be used to analyze the cyst.
Treatment for a Ganglion Cyst
Since these cysts are usually painless, they do not require treatment and can even disappear on their own. If the cyst is painful or limits your ability to perform certain activities, non-surgical treatment can help. Using splints to reduce irritation around the cyst or taking anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve pain and discomfort.
If Dr. Kilaru chooses to aspirate the cyst, he will need to place a needle into the cyst and remove the fluid. This is a simple procedure but recurrence with this method is common. Surgical removal typically involves removing the cyst along with some of the joint capsule or tendon sheath. Dr. Kilaru will discuss treatment options and explain the chance of recurrence during your consultation.
What to Expect with Treatment for a Ganglion Cyst
Some people find a ganglion cyst disappears without doing anything at all while others respond well to non-surgical treatment. If surgery is needed, it can take several weeks for a full recovery. Dr. Kilaru will provide more information about what to expect with your treatment plan during your consultation.
If you’re concerned about a ganglion cyst, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kilaru.