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Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion Cysts

Description Of The Injury: A ganglion cyst is a swollen lump under the skin that contains gelatinous joint lubricant. They are usually found on the wrist or on a finger and are generally attached to a nearby tendon. The lump may range in size and hardness. While the reason for their occurrence is not precisely known, it is believed that they are caused by flaws in the tendon sheath that allows joint tissue and lubricant to accumulate outside the tendon.

Injury Symptoms: A ganglion cyst is identifiable by its cystic bump shape that may appear on the wrist or hand area. The bump is generally soft, and may be slightly swollen. If the cyst is on a finger, and a sensation of weakness of the finger occurs, the cyst may be connected to a tendon.

Additional Information

Home Treatments:

Minor ganglion cysts will gradually disappear on their own. Gently massaging the cyst a few times a day may also promote recovery. A traditional home treatment is smashing the cyst with a hard object which usually pops the cyst, rupturing its lining and preventing it from reoccurring however, the effectiveness of this method is questionable and not as advisable as ice, painkillers and immobilization.

Professional Medical Treatments:

a reoccurring cyst or a cyst that has not responded to conventional treatment may be a good candidate for aspiration - the process of draining the fluid of the cyst with a needle and using a cortisone injection for anti inflammatory purposes. Additionally a splint may be used to promote sufficient healing. Severe cysts may be removed via surgery.

Physical Therapy and Exercises:

If the cyst is located near the wrist, simple wrist flexion and extension exercises may help. Additionally, writing the alphabet in the air with your wrist, while keeping all five fingers still may prove beneficial. Similarly, if the cyst is located on a finger, gentle finger flexion and range of motion test such as writing the alphabet in the air will aid in the recovery of this injury.

Exercise Techniques to Prevent Injury:

There are no known methods to prevent a ganglion cyst.