Ganglion cysts are the most common benign soft tissue growth on the wrist or hand. These fluid-filled sacs or cyst occur next to joints, or attached to tendon sheaths. They can be firm and tense like a water balloon or more mobile.
The Hand Surgery Center of Excellence offers expert physicians committed to providing individualized care for patients suffering various hand and wrist conditions, including ganglion cyst. For more information about your treatment options for ganglion cyst, contact our hand surgeons in Los Angeles at (888) 529-1873.
What Can Cause a Ganglion Cyst on Hand?
It is not known exactly what causes ganglion cyst, although repeatedly applied stress to the wrist and hand are thought to be contributory. The most common site of the cyst to occur include:
- Back of the wrist joint
- Palm side of the wrist
- Base of the fingers at the palm
- The fingertip (also known as mucous cyst)
When the wrist is affected it is most commonly women ages 15 to 40 years old. Ganglion cysts of the finger, or mucous cyst, are associated with arthritis in women ages 40 to 70 years old.
How Would I Know if I Have a Ganglion Cyst?
Most ganglion cysts do not produce symptoms, until they become larger and interfere with movement, or impinge on a nerve. Frequently, they change in size, most likely from the fluid coming into and out of them. The cyst can cause anxiety, being mistaken for something else, such as a tumor.
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Diagnosis of a Ganglion Cyst
A simple physical examination is normally the key to diagnosis of a ganglion cyst. During the physical exam your hand surgeon may apply pressure to the cyst. Holding a simple light up to the cyst, looking for the light to shine through (trans-illumination), can help determine the density of the cyst.
Other non-invasive diagnostic techniques that may assist your hand surgeon, personalize your treatment may include x-ray films, or ultrasound of the cyst. X-rays are used to determine if there has been any disruption to the boney structures in the area, ultrasound is used to determine the consistency of the cyst (solid or fluid filled)
Treatment For Ganglion Cysts on Hand
Ganglion cyst most often because of their waxing-and-waning characteristic normally involves direct observation. However when the cyst become larger they have a tendency to cause disruption in your range of motion, along with impingement on the nerves in the wrist and hand, causing pain. At the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence our expert hand surgeons specialize in several techniques to remove and treat ganglion cyst, some of the treatment methods include:
- Aspiration: this involves a skilled hand guiding a needle into the cyst to drain all the fluid from within. After the drainage the cavity is injected with an anti-inflammatory to prevent the formation or reoccurrence of the cyst,
- Arthroscopic removal: During an arthroscopic removal of the cyst, a few small incisions are made in the area. Through these incisions a camera and small tools are inserted that allow our expert orthopedic surgeons visualize and remove the cyst with minimal scaring and shorter healing times.
- Open excision: Open excisions are made in the traditional surgical setting. The surgeon will make a larger excision to expose the extent of the cyst. Following parts of the cyst along with areas of the tendon sheath involved are removed.
Contact a Los Angeles Hand Surgeon
The Hand Surgery Center of Excellence offers renowned orthopedic and plastic surgeons specializing in the treatment of hand conditions. If you have specific questions or have been experiencing symptoms of ganglion cyst, contact our Los Angeles hand doctors by calling (888) 529-1873 or by filling out our website contact form.
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