Ganglion cysts are unsightly lumps that appear on the body. Though most commonly found on the hands and wrists, ganglions can also develop in other locations, such as on the feet, knees, ankles, and shoulders. They are formed by small balloons or sacs of clear fluid beneath the skin. Though they can be quite unattractive, ganglions are neither cancerous nor life-threatening. If you have unexplained lumps on your hands or wrists, a visit to an orthopaedic doctor can determine if they are ganglions.
Doctors cannot say for certain what causes ganglions to form, though they are relatively simple to diagnose. Repetitive motion, injury, arthritis, and other inflammation of the joint capsule and tendon sheath may be related to the development of these cysts. Ganglions present as circular or ovoid lumps and range in texture from firm to tender. They may or may not cause chronic pain, but usually some discomfort will occur when pressure is applied to a ganglion. Also, most ganglions are translucent, so your doctor may shine a light through the lumps to determine whether they are ganglions or another type of cyst.
Although ganglions often disappear on their own, chronic ganglions can sometimes require medical treatment. When a ganglion becomes painful, inhibiting, or unsightly, a doctor may recommend an aspiration. This non-surgical procedure removes fluid buildup from the ganglion with a hypodermic needle. If the ganglion still causes pain or recurs after an aspiration, surgery may be required to excise the cyst and a small adjacent portion of the tendon sheath or joint capsule.
If you are suffering from chronic ganglions, acute joint pain, or other conditions in your feet, hands, spine, or hips, the qualified medical staff at MK Orthopaedics in Joliet can help. Give us a call today at (815) 741-6900 to find out more about our orthopaedic and rehabilitation services.