Ganglion cysts are the lumps which mostly occur on the hand, rarely on back, foot or ankle. These cysts are non-cancerous and are harmless. How does it appear? It appears like a round mass which is filled with fluid. It usually appears near the joints of the bones or tendons.
If your cyst causes discomfort or pain that limits your mobility, then you must see your doctor, he/she will remove the fluid from the cyst with the help of a syringe. Most of them seem to be tiny, and few are across an inch in size, most of the ganglion cysts go away on their own.
The cause of ganglion cyst is not known. But few scholars believe that when your body undergoes trauma, there can be break down of the joint forming small cysts, which are joined and form a bigger mass. Even if there is any flaw in your joint capsule or the tendon sheath, it makes the joint tissue swell out like a mass.
The below factors may increase your risk of ganglion cysts:
The most commonly experienced symptoms include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine your lump. He/she may suggest you to go for imaging tests, such as X-ray, MRI or an ultrasound if the lump is very tiny. Your doctor may collect the sample taken from the lump and send it for testing.
Some ganglion cysts can disappear without any treatment. Some ganglion cysts require treatment, the treatment options include:
Nonsurgical treatment for ganglion cyst
A needle is inserted into the cyst, and the fluid is drawn out. This is performed by injecting a steroid agent that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Surgical treatment for ganglion cyst
Your surgeon would remove the cyst surgically, the recurrence of cysts is less often after the surgery compared to aspiration technique.
Other treatment options include administering corticosteroids, performing manual compression, electroacupuncture.
You can consider using OTC medication for pain relief. If the ganglion cyst is near the ankle or foot, then consider changing the shoes or the way you tie up the lace. These simple tips can relieve the pain near the site. Warm compression with a damp cloth can give instant relief near the cyst area, but does not prevent the growth of the cyst.
Thumping the cyst with any heavy object to compress it is an old remedy; this should not be performed, as it may damage the surrounding structure near your hand or foot. You must never try to puncture the cyst with the help of needle; this may cause complications such as infection, pain, or swelling.