I have a knot on the palm of my hand: What could it be?

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cyst on palm of hand

Having a knot form on your palm can be painful and limit functionality of individual fingers or the hand as a whole. There are several potential causes, but the most common are Dupuytren’s contracture and Ganglion cysts. It is important to get a professional diagnosis from a hand specialist, as incorrect self-treatment can worsen your condition.

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture is the abnormal thickening of the fibrous tissue beneath the skin at the base of the fingers on the palm side of the hand. The affected tissue may develop into a lump over time. This type of cyst is noncancerous. Common symptoms include one or more tender lumps on the palm and the inability to flatten the hand. In some cases, the lump may thicken and contract, causing it to form thick cords of tissue under the skin in the palm.

While the cause of Dupuytren’s contracture remains unknown, several factors may increase risk, including:
A genetic predisposition
Being male
Having Scandinavian or Northern European ancestry
Long-term smoking
Taking certain medications for Epilepsy

Dupuytren’s Contracture Treatments

Treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture includes injecting an enzyme to dissolve the cord, and occasionally requires surgery.

Ganglion Cysts

A Ganglion cyst is another condition that can cause a lump in your palm. This type of cyst is filled with a thick, gel-like fluid. With this condition, a cyst on the palm of the hand may appear, or a cyst can form near joints or tendons. When located on the palm side of the hand, they are usually found on the wrist, off-center toward the thumb or at the base of the finger. Typically, ganglion cysts will decrease in size over time and disappear. However, if the cyst causes pain, limits function or becomes bothersome, treatments are available. Your hand surgeon will do a physical examination and may request x-rays or other imaging tests to diagnose the lump.

cyst on palm of hand
A cyst that appears on the palm of the hand may be a Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cyst risk factors are increased for:
Between the ages of 20 and 40
Those with osteoarthritis in the joints associated with Dupuytren’s disease
Previous joint or tendon injuries

Ganglion Cyst Treatments

Aspiration is a procedure where the fluid is removed using a needle. In some cases, if the fluid is too thick for this method, pressure can be applied to force the fluid out of the cyst into the surrounding tissue. If the lump persists or recurs, surgery to remove of a portion of the joint capsule or tendon sheath may be required.

While Dupuytren’s contracture and Ganglion cysts are two of the most common causes of a lump on your palm, there are an array of possible diagnoses. Receiving a professional diagnosis from your hand doctor is imperative for determining the correct and most effective treatment path.

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