That Small Lump on Your Wrist Could Be a Ganglion Cyst – Receive a Diagnosis & Treatment in Lafayette, LA
A ganglion cyst is a small, noncancerous lump that develops on a joint or tendon in a wrist, hand, ankle, or foot. The cyst resembles a tiny water balloon attached to a stalk that grows out of a joint or tendon sheath. Inside is a gel-like fluid, which is similar to the lubricating fluid found in a joint capsule.
Ganglion cysts sometimes form when the tissue around a joint or tendon becomes inflamed and bulges out of place. This can occur due to osteoarthritis-related degeneration or an injury. However, the precise causes of ganglion cysts are not yet fully understood.
How Is a Ganglion Cyst Treated?
Many ganglion cysts are completely painless, do not require treatment, and resolve on their own with time. However, a ganglion cyst can potentially cause discomfort if it interferes with joint movement or presses on a nearby nerve. In these situations, treatment may be beneficial. Some options include:
- Immobilization – Joint movement can irritate a ganglion cyst, causing it to fill with fluid and become enlarged. A brace or splint can be worn to temporarily immobilize the affected hand or foot. Then, as the cyst naturally loses fluid and shrinks over time, painful pressure on the surrounding nerve tissue may be reduced.
- A change in footwear – If a painful ganglion cyst develops in an ankle or foot, it may be helpful to wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes and loosen the laces, if appropriate.
- Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can relieve discomfort caused by a ganglion cyst.
- Aspiration – A physician can use a needle to drain fluid from a large ganglion cyst.
- Surgery – A surgeon can remove both a ganglion cyst and its stalk.
Regardless of whether treatment is needed – and, if so, the type of treatment used – a ganglion cyst that resolves can potentially come back in the future.
Consult With an Orthopedic Specialist in Lafayette
If you’re seeking relief from a painful ganglion cyst, you are welcome to consult with Peter D. Vizzi, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who offers both conservative and surgical treatments for ganglion cysts and other hand, wrist, and elbow conditions. After evaluating your cyst, Dr. Vizzi can explain your treatment options. Request an appointment at his office in Lafayette, Louisiana, today.