A ganglion is a benign cyst that forms on a joint or tendon. It is filled with a lubricating liquid that is used to reduce the friction that occurs when moving certain tendons and joints in our body. They are usually located in the wrist area, on the back of the hand, on the fingers, or on the instep. Less often they may also appear on the knee, shoulder, back, or other areas of the body.
What are the causes of the ganglion?
The causes of ganglions are unknown, although they have been attributed to rubbing or continued use of certain tendons or joints. Some ganglions may appear after hitting the area.
Symptoms of the disease
Symptoms are the appearance of a lump in a certain area, which may not produce symptoms, may hurt or may hinder the mobility of the joint where it is located. Sometimes they can decrease in size or disappear on their own after a while. Some ganglions are not visible to the naked eye and produce local pain, being diagnosed after performing special radiological tests such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
How are cysts diagnosed?
It is usually a simple diagnosis just by looking at it. Since it is filled with liquid, light passes through it, so intense light can be applied to the lump and demonstrate that light passes through it.
Occasionally, an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI may be necessary to better view the area and reach a diagnosis.
What is the prognosis of the cyst?
The prognosis is good. Firstly, because even if it is a tumour, it is totally benign. Also, if proper treatment is followed, the cyst can easily disappear. There are even cases in which the cyst has disappeared on its own, without being subjected to any treatment. However, even if it is successfully removed, it can appear again.
Can it be prevented?
This type of cyst can be prevented by targeted relaxation exercises. This is especially important for those people who work long hours with the computer or doing activities that can affect joint tension, with repetitive movements. The ganglion is produced by the tension generated in the wrist, therefore, it is important to perform this type of stretching so that the muscles relax.
You might also want to read: What are the treatment options for a ganglion?
At Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to diagnose and treat ganglion. Book an appointment to get a checkup.