Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst Definition:-It is a round, fluid-filled sac of tissues that typically grows on tendons or joints of the body. It forms on the wrist or hand but can also develop on the ankle or feet in some cases.

Ganglion Cyst- An Overview

These are common lumps on the wrists or hands that occur in line with the tendons or joints. The most common locations of occurrence are top of the wrist, the palm side, the base of the finger on the palm side and the last joint of the finger. It is filled with clear fluid and looks like a ball filled with a thick, gluey and clear looking jelly like material.

These cysts are also called Bible cysts and are more commonly found in women than men. It does not affect very young or very elderly people and is mostly affects people in the age group 20-40 years.

Size of a Ganglion Cyst

The size of a cyst can range from just a few centimetres to a few inches. It can be as small as a pea or as big as a Ping-Pong ball.

Occurrence of a Ganglion Cyst

These cysts mostly commonly form on the back of the hand, joint of the wrist or palm side of the wrist. It can also occur on some other parts of the body like:

  • Base of the fingers
  • The fingertips i.e. the area below the cuticle. At this location the cyst is called the mucous cyst.
  • The outer portion of the knee or ankle
  • The thumb
  • The shoulder

Ganglion Cyst Causes

The exact cause of Ganglion cyst remains a mystery, however one theory suggests that sometimes trauma causes the tissue of the joint to rupture, forming little cysts that further join to form bigger cysts. This theory is associated with fault in the tendon sheath or joint capsule that forces the joint tissue to bulge out.

Symptoms of Ganglion Cyst

The symptoms these cysts are almost common in all patients. They include:

  • A visible lump
  • Pain in the affected area following severe trauma
  • Inflammation in the affected area and the surrounding area which appears suddenly and disappears with time
  • Discomfort in moving the joint
  • Numbness
  • A tingling sensation
  • Loss of mobility in some cases
  • Weakness in the adjoining fingers and joints

When to seek medical care?

If the Ganglion cyst is causing severe pain along with inflammation or you are having difficulty in moving the affected joint, then you must seek medical advice immediately for the right diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosis of a Ganglion Cyst

A doctor can diagnose a ganglion cyst by studying the patient’s medical and family history and performing a physical examination. The doctor may ask you the following question:

  • When was the lump first seen?
  • Did you face any other symptoms along with the formation of the lump?
  • How severe is the pain?
  • Do you experience any loss in mobility?
  • How long has the lump been there?

The doctor may also ask you to undergo the following tests:

  • An ultrasound to determine whether the lump is actually a cyst filled with fluid or a solid mass. The ultrasound can also detect if any artery or blood vessel is causing the lump to form.
  • An X-ray or MRI may be required to study the position of the Ganglion cyst on the wrist.
  • A sample of the fluid filled inside the cyst may be taken.

Pilonidal Cyst Treatment

Most of these cysts do not require any treatment and disappear on their own; however there are a few treatment methods that can be helpful in removing the cysts completely.

Surgery

Surgical removal of the Ganglion cyst is required if the lump is painful and affects the mobility of the joints or causes numbing or tingling sensation.

Aspiration

This includes inserting a needle inside the cyst and removing the fluid present inside. At the same time, a steroid chemical is also injected which acts as an anti-inflammatory dose. This treatment is highly effective in removing the cyst and restoring the mobility and function of the affected joint and surrounding tissues and tendons.

Home Remedies for Ganglion Cyst

There are numerous home remedies that are really helpful in getting rid of these unwanted balls of fluid. They are:

Black Tea Bags

One of the most effective ways to get rid of Ganglion cyst is using a black tea bag. The tea inside the bag is made up of an acidic compound that helps in healing the cyst and reducing the pain and inflammation.

How to use:

  • Take a black tea bag and soak it in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Pull it out and remove the excess water by squeezing it.
  • Place the warm tea bag on the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
  • Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day for best results.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel contains amazing anti-inflammatory properties that speed up the healing process of a Ganglion cyst.

How to use:

  • Extract some gel from a fresh Aloe Vera leaf.
  • Gently apply the gel on the affected area.
  • Leave it untouched for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse the gel with tap water.
  • Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day for best results.

Castor Oil

Castor oil contains anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties that help in fighting infections and stimulating the cyst’s healing process. It also helps in dealing with irritation and inflammation.

How to use:

  • Take a soft and clean cloth and dip it in castor oil.
  • Place it on the cyst for 15—20 minutes and do not apply too much pressure.
  • You can also massage this oil directly on the affected area.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a magic potion for skin infection and ailments and has powerful anti-microbial and antiseptic properties. It is one of the most effected home remedies for treating Ganglion cysts.

How to use:

  • Take a cotton ball and soak it in Apple Cider Vinegar solution.
  • Gently apply the cotton ball on the affected area.
  • Fix the cotton ball on the cyst with the help of a gauze or band aid.
  • Keep it there for half an hour.
  • Follow this procedure 2-3 times a day for best results.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has fantastic antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and very useful for treating these cysts. They are also very helpful in treating pilonidal cysts.

For more information on pilonidal cyst click here

How to use:

  • Prepare a solution of two drop of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Gently apply the mixture on the cyst.
  • Use a gauze or band air to cover the cyst.
  • Follow this procedure 2-3 times a day for best results.

Ginger

Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory properties that helps in easing the pain associated with the joint cysts. You can opt for ginger supplements or consume ginger tea 2-3 times a day to get relief.

How to use:

  • Cut ginger into small pieces.
  • Add these slices to a cup of hot water and place a tea bag.
  • Drink hot, 2-3 times a day for relief and best results.

Warm Compress

Frequently placing a warm compress on the cyst can help in melting it. It can also help is easing the pain and provides great relief from inflammation and pain during movement of the joint.

Mix of Epsom Salt, Glycerine and Borax

This mixture is very effective in healing Ganglion cysts and can provide relief from mild to even severe pain.

How to use:

  • Take three teaspoons of warm glycerine, 1/8 teaspoon of borax and half teaspoon of Epsom salt.
  • Mix all the content until completely dissolved.
  • Take a cotton ball and apply the mixture on the cyst gently.
  • Cover the area with a bandage or medical tape.

Change Your Shoes

If the cyst is on the foot, then you must change your shoes immediately. Do not wear shoes that compress the cyst in any way. It is best to wear flip-flops, floaters or peep toes. Avoid wearing shoes that restrict the movement of the feet and are made of non-breathable or synthetic fabric. Leather and polyester material can also irritate the Ganglion cyst.

Ganglion Cyst Pictures

Check out these pictures of ganglion cysts that will help you understand what they are and how they look.

Picture 1:- Ganglion cyst location

Ganglion Cyst Pictures 1

 

Pic 2 :-Picture of the hand and wrist after the Ganglion cyst surgery

Ganglion Cyst Pictures

Picture 3:- A closer look at a Ganglion cyst

Ganglion Cyst Pictures 2

Picture 4:- A Ganglion cyst on the foot

Ganglion cyst pictures 3