If you notice a lump on your hand or wrist, most typically along a tendon or joint, you may have a ganglion cyst.
A ganglion cyst is a non-cancerous, fluid-filled bump on the hand or wrist. Ganglion cysts typically don’t cause pain, however, if positioned on a nerve, they can cause nerve pain. These lumps on the hand can also interfere with movement in the fingers or wrist if they grow on or near a joint. Ganglion cysts can vary in size from unnoticeably small to around an inch in diameter, but some can grow even larger. They can also grow larger when a nearby joint is repetitively used, then shrink again with rest.
Any unusual lump or bump should be examined by a doctor. If you have a growth on your hand or wrist, make an appointment with a hand doctor who specializes in the hand and wrist. A hand specialist will examine the cyst, likely putting pressure on it, and possibly shining a light through it to see if the fluid is clear, and may order tests to confirm the diagnosis. An x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI may be performed to confirm the bump is a ganglion cyst and not another condition, like a tumor. The hand doctor may also aspirate the cyst, removing some fluid with a needle.
Some ganglion cysts don’t require medical intervention and will resolve on their own over time. Others, however, can cause nerve pain or reduced mobility in the joint. In these cases, your hand specialist may recommend surgically removing the cyst.
If you suspect you have a ganglion cyst, the hand doctors of Midwest Hand Surgery are here to help. Call to schedule an appointment at 630-359-6889 or click here.
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