Ganglion Cyst Removal and Treatment

Dallas and Frisco Ganglion Cyst Removal

ganglion cyst removal

Dallas & Frisco Treatment for Ganglion Cysts

When strange lumps and bumps appear on our bodies, many times we expect the worst outcome. Especially when they’re in an unusual place, like the wrist or hand, many people don’t know where to turn. Luckily, these lumps and bumps usually have a simple explanation. They are noncancerous ganglion cysts, and they account for around 70% of lumps and bumps in the wrist or hand. Ganglion cyst removal is very simple, but we still recommend seeing a doctor before trying any home treatments.

At SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we treat a wide variety of conditions, both mild and severe. Whether you suffered a sports injury or developed another condition, we’re here to provide treatment. Our specialists offer the best in Dallas physical therapy and orthopedic surgery. For more information about the treatments we offer, please contact our office at 469-200-2832. You can also fill out our online intake form.

What Is a Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts are sacs under the skin that contain fluid and that develop near joints or tendons. Clear, thick, and sticky jellylike material fills these cysts. Depending on the size of the cyst, they feel either firm or spongy. Another term for these is a “bible cyst.” They most often show up on the palm side of the wrist, but it is possible for them to develop elsewhere. Below, we list other areas where ganglion cysts appear.

  • On the palm at the base of the fingers, they appear as pea-sized lumps
  • Fingertip, right below the cuticle, also called mucous cysts
  • Outside the ankle or knee
  • Top of the foot

If the cyst causes you any issues, a doctor might recommend draining it with a needle or lancet needle. Ganglion cyst removal by surgery is another option. However, treatment is not a necessity unless a patient experiences symptoms. Many cases involve the cyst dissipating without any form of treatment.

Below, we list two common types of ganglion cysts.

  • Dorsal ganglion cyst: Develops on the back of the wrist.
  • Volar ganglion cyst: Develops on the underside of the wrist.
ganglion cyst removal

What Are the Symptoms of a Ganglion Cyst?

Doctors often identify ganglion cysts from the following symptoms.

  • Location: These lumps usually develop around the joints and tendons of the hands and wrists. The next most common locations are the feet and ankles. It is also possible for ganglion cysts to form around other joints.
  • Size and shape: Generally, these cysts measure under an inch in diameter and have an oval or round shape. Sometimes, they are too small to even be felt. Their sizes can fluctuate, and often get bigger with repeated use of the affected joint.
  • Pain: Most ganglion cysts are completely painless. However, sometimes these cysts push on nerves in and around the joints. Even if the cyst is very small, it can still cause pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.

If you detect a lump or soreness in your wrist, hand, ankle, or foot, see your doctor. They will be able to diagnose you and evaluate whether or not you require treatment.

What Causes Ganglion Cysts?

Unfortunately, nobody really understands what causes the development of ganglion cysts. Most often, they occur in people between the ages of 15 and 40. Also, women are more likely to experience them than men. Gymnasts and other individuals who apply repeated pressure to certain joints also have ganglion cysts more often.

Those cysts that develop at the end finger joint (mucous cysts) are most often associated with arthritis in that joint. Mucous cysts typically occur more often in women in the age range of 40 and 70 years. Below, we list some risk factors associated with ganglion cysts.

  • Osteoarthritis: Those with diagnosed osteoarthritis have a higher risk of developing ganglion cysts.
  • Tendon or joint trauma: Ganglion cysts are also more common in those with past joint or tendon trauma.
  • Age: Cysts are more likely to develop in those between the ages of 15 and 40, but can also occur in children and older adults.
  • Sex: They develop more often in women than men.

How Long Does It Take for a Ganglion Cyst to Go Away?

The majority of ganglion cysts go away on their own, although some reappear despite intervention. It might take a long time to go away, up to 12 to 18 months. If there is no discomfort, the health care practitioner may advise merely observing and waiting.

What Happens if a Ganglion Cyst Bursts Internally?

A ganglion cyst might rupture on its own if you don’t seek medical care. Ruptured ganglion cysts are more prevalent in youngsters and athletes because the cyst might rupture following a severe fall on the playground or on the field. Many ganglion cysts rupture as a result of forceful hits, such as when someone falls or runs into something, or when someone intentionally makes hard contact with the cyst in an attempt to remove it.

When a ganglion cyst ruptures, what occurs next? The cyst breaks internally under the impact’s pressure, and the fluid spreads beneath the skin. It is eventually absorbed by the circulation. For a few days, the afflicted region will most likely be red, painful, and swollen. You may also experience a sensation akin to water running down the side of your body where the cyst ruptures.

How to Diagnose a Ganglion Cyst

Your doctor may apply pressure to the cyst during the physical exam to see if it is sensitive or uncomfortable. He or she could try shining a light into the cyst to see if it’s a solid mass or a fluid-filled sac.

Imaging tests, such as X-rays, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be recommended by your doctor to rule out other diseases, such as arthritis or a tumor. Hidden cysts can also be found using MRIs and ultrasounds.

Aspiration, a procedure in which your doctor uses a needle and syringe to take out the fluid in the cyst, can confirm a ganglion cyst diagnosis. A ganglion cyst’s fluid will be thick, transparent, and sticky.

What Is the Best Treatment for a Ganglion Cyst?

Treatment will most likely be determined by the type of ganglion cyst found. Physicians are frequently hesitant to aspirate a volar cyst because of the increased danger of damaging the delicate tendons and blood vessels in the inner wrist, notably the radial artery. A volar wrist ganglion cyst can be treated surgically, but the surgery is more difficult and the wound will likely take longer to heal. If your doctor recommends treatment for the ganglion cyst, you have a few treatment options. One of the following options is possible. 

Immobilize the Wrist

A splint or brace may be recommended by your doctor to immobilize the affected joint. When a joint is immobile, the ganglion cyst shrinks, reducing pressure on your nerves and relieving pain.

Ganglion Cyst Removal

Minor aspiration is helpful for diagnosing the cyst, and more vigorous aspiration can remove the majority of the fluid. This therapy should offer near-immediate pain relief. However, because the cyst’s structure is still present, it’s conceivable that the drained cyst will slowly fill back up with fluid. Aspiration simply empties the fluid, similar to letting the air out of a water balloon that can be refilled.

Ganglion Cyst Surgery

The cyst and the stalk of tissue attaching it to the adjacent joint or tendon sheath are removed during surgery. A ganglionectomy, or ganglion excision, is a form of surgery that removes a ganglion. The surgeon will use general anesthetic, so you won’t feel or remember anything, and the operation will be performed as an outpatient procedure, so you won’t have to remain in the hospital. Surgical treatment is frequently successful and has a lower chance of cyst recurrence. Many doctors prefer to attempt less intrusive treatment options first because it is the most invasive choice.

Steroid Injections

Because of their efficacy as pain relievers, steroid injections are occasionally used to treat ganglion cysts. To make daily tasks less uncomfortable, your health care practitioner may administer a steroid injection. Physicians may also employ steroid injections with aspiration to help decrease the lesion and limit the chance of recurrence by injecting the steroid into the deflated cyst.

Ganglion Cyst Prevention and Recovery

Following the removal of a cyst, you can anticipate experiencing or participating in the following healing activities.

  • Splinting: You’ll probably have a splint on your hand for a week or longer after aspiration or surgery to remove a ganglion cyst. The splint will cover the surgical site and keep you from overusing the afflicted joint while it heals. You should only wear the splint for as long as your doctor prescribes. Doing so for much longer will stiffen the joint and lengthen your healing period.
  • Few weeks of recovery: Depending on where the cyst is located, a full recovery might take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Following your doctor’s exercise recommendations and taking care not to push yourself too hard might help you recover faster.
  • Physical therapy: A ganglion cyst that has already formed will not be removed with physical therapy. Physical therapy activities, on the other hand, are frequently helpful in the healing process following cystectomy. These exercises can help you regain wrist and hand strength as well as a complete range of motion. Muscle strengthening can also help to avoid future joint injuries, lowering the risk of cyst development.

Contact SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy Today

At SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we offer a wide variety of treatments for a wide variety of conditions. Our highly skilled team of medical professionals is here to offer the most effective treatments for sports injuries, bone fractures, and naturally-occurring conditions. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with us, please call 469-200-2832 or fill out our online intake form.