Do Ganglion Cysts Go Away on Their Own?
Ganglion Cyst is a fluid-filled lump that forms around the joint. It usually heals on its own unless it becomes infected, which causes pain and interferes with joint movement. It happens when you put continual pressure on your wrist. At Florida Hand Center, Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr. MD, an orthopedic arm and hand surgeon will create a personalized plan to address your individual needs. If you get a ganglion cyst and it interferes with your daily activities, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers, FL, and Port Charlotte, FL.
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Ganglion cysts develop due to various factors that affect the joints and tendons. The main cause of ganglion cysts is trauma to a joint or its surrounding tissues. Trauma can be caused by sprains or repetitive stress on the joint. These factors can lead to the formation of small, fluid-filled sacs over or close to the affected joints and tendons.
In addition, joint conditions such as arthritis, which causes inflammation and significant wear-and-tear on the joint, can also contribute to the development of ganglion cysts. Genetic factors can play a role in some cases, as certain individuals are more predisposed to developing this type of cyst. While ganglion cysts are usually harmless and benign, they can cause discomfort and restrict joint movement.
Ganglion cysts can appear in various locations within the body, but they most commonly develop close to overused joints and tendons. The wrists and hands are common sites for ganglion cysts, particularly on the back of the wrist and at the base of the fingers. Furthermore, ganglion cysts can also occur in other areas, such as the ankles and feet, knees, and even at the base of the spine.
These cysts are typically small, round or oval-shaped, and they can vary in size from a pea to a marble. Ganglion cysts are filled with clear, jelly-like fluid that feels firm or spongy to the touch. The appearance of ganglion cysts can be disconcerting, but most are harmless and painless. Some cysts may change in size over time, while others may come and go. Although they are usually benign, if a cyst causes discomfort or affects joint movement, seeking evaluation from a healthcare professional is recommended.
Several factors can worsen ganglion cysts, leading to increased discomfort and potential complications. These include:
Repetitive movements – Participating in repetitive motions that put strain on the affected joint can exacerbate the cyst and cause it to grow larger or become more painful.
Trauma – Injury to the affected joint or nearby tissues can irritate the ganglion cyst, leading to a limited range of motion and increased pain and swelling.
Pressure on the cyst – Applying pressure or squeezing the cyst can lead to increased inflammation and worsen your pain. It’s important to be careful not to accidentally exert pressure on the affected area.
Infection – If the cyst is punctured or ruptured, it can become infected. This can cause severe symptoms and increase the risk of further complications.
Delayed treatment – Waiting too long to seek medical treatment can allow the cyst to grow larger. Delayed treatment can cause you to require more invasive interventions for resolution.
To prevent ganglion cysts from worsening, it’s advised to seek medical advice promptly and avoid activities that could strain or irritate the affected area. Receiving a proper diagnosis and early treatment will help you manage your symptoms and prevent further complications.
Getting rid of a ganglion cyst can be accomplished through various medical treatment options. The ideal choice depends on the cyst’s size, location, and severity of symptoms. The first-line treatment for minor ganglion cysts includes rest, avoiding activities that aggravate the cyst, and using over-the-counter pain relievers to manage discomfort.
If the cyst causes persistent pain or limits joint mobility, aspiration is an effective treatment strategy. In this procedure, a medical professional will use a thin needle to drain the fluid out of the cyst, providing significant relief. In some cases, ganglion cysts can return after an aspiration procedure. For more stubborn or recurrent cysts, surgical removal will be necessary. During the surgical procedure, a surgeon will remove the cyst and, in some cases, a portion of the joint capsule to prevent recurrence.
It’s very important to remember that attempting to pop or rupture a cyst at home is not safe and can lead to infection and other serious complications. If you have a bothersome ganglion cyst, it’s highly recommended to consult a healthcare professional at Florida Hand Center for a thorough evaluation and customized treatment approach. For more information, contact us today to request an appointment. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers, FL, and Port Charlotte, FL. We serve patients from Port Charlotte FL, Fort Myers FL, Estero FL, Lake Suzy FL, Cape Coral FL, Punta Gorda FL, Murdock FL, Solana FL, Harbour Heights FL, Charlotte Harbor FL, and surrounding areas.
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