Analyzing the Causes & Treatment Options for Ganglion Cysts

We're happy to share insights from our doctors.
ganglion cyst removal

Ganglion cysts are the medical term for a lump or tumor that develops around certain joints and tendons. In most cases, ganglion cysts represent a minor health concern and are typically not indicative of cancer. Though this type of large lump — especially those that swell in the fingers, hands, or wrists — can prevent a person from accomplishing basic motor functions and day-to-day activities.

What Causes a Ganglion Cyst?

When a person develops a ganglion cyst, there are a range of potential symptoms. Most commonly, a person suffering from a ganglion cyst will demonstrate one or multiple of the symptoms below:

  • Lumps or swelling in the fingers, hands, or wrists;
  • Loss of feeling or numbness in the fingers, hands, or wrists; or
  • Pain, irritation, or aching in the fingers, hands, or wrists.
ganglion cyst removal
Ganglion cyst removal, draining, or monitoring may be the treatment suggestion

Even though there are common symptoms for this condition, it is often complicated to isolate the root cause of a ganglion cyst. From a general standpoint, ganglion cysts originate from joints or tendons leaking fluid in the fingers, hands, or wrists. When this fluid begins to leak, the human body automatically employs defensive mechanisms, which can cause a lump to form. But each patient represents a different case when it comes to ganglion cysts.

How is a Ganglion Cyst Treated?

As ganglion cysts are often benign in nature, it may be tempting for patients to engage in self-diagnosis and self-treatment. But in order to treat a ganglion cyst properly, it is first necessary for a qualified physician to diagnose the condition. Otherwise, the patient may not take the best and most efficient route to recovery.

The diagnosis process for a ganglion cyst normally begins with a physical examination of the mass itself. A qualified doctor may also order the patient to engage in certain tests for range of motion to evaluate related joints and motor functions. Based on the circumstances, a licensed professional may even conduct imaging or other tests to ensure a proper diagnosis.

Upon a professional diagnosis of a ganglion cyst, a qualified surgeon will typically recommend one of the treatment options below:

  • Monitor — For certain ganglion cysts that are minor in nature, a doctor might instruct the patient to simply monitor the condition and see if it worsens;
  • Drain — For other ganglion cysts that are serious in nature, a doctor might drain fluid from the cyst to see whether the condition improves; or
  • Operate — For the most severe ganglion cysts, a doctor might have to operate surgically to resolve the condition.

Do You Need Ganglion Cyst Removal or Medical Help with a Ganglion Cyst?

If you think that a ganglion cyst has developed in your hand or wrist, it can be extremely beneficial to contact a trusted hand/wrist surgeon. At Midwest Hand Surgery, our surgeons have studied hand, wrist, and elbow procedures at the fellowship level, ensuring that you receive the high-quality treatment for your injury.

We strive to provide a truly unique approach to medicine, one where you will always see your doctor. We do not depend on physician assistants to provide care to our patients. Additionally, Midwest Hand Surgery features on-site surgical suites for immediate urgent care and occupational therapy for long-term benefits. If you need help with ganglion cysts or an equivalent injury, contact us today for the treatment you deserve.

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