A ganglion cyst is a tumor or swelling that occurs on the top of a joint or the covering of a tendon, which is the tissue that links muscles to bones. A ganglion cyst resembles a liquid sac and contains clear, colorless and jellylike material, which is, furthermore, thickly, and sticky. On a touch, it seems to be either firm or spongy, which depends on the size of the ganglion cyst. It is possible that only one cyst appears, but also many small cysts may develop. These multiple small cysts give the impression that there are several of them. However, they are connected by a stalk in the deeper tissue. In most cases, these cysts appear in the hand and they are not serious.
Ganglion cysts, also called Bible cysts are very common in women and usually appear at the back of the hand, or at the wrist, but they can occur on the palm side of the wrist and at the base of the fingers on the palm. If they occur at the fingertips, they are called mucous cysts. Other places where ganglion cysts may develop are the outside of the knee and ankle, and the top of the foot.
Causes and symptoms of ganglion cyst
The exact cause for the occurrence of a ganglion cyst is not yet discovered, but there is a theory according to which the tissue of the joint starts to break down and produce small cells because of trauma. Then, these small cells connect into one larger cyst. Another theory states that a defect in the joint capsule or tendon covering is responsible for the occurrence of ganglion cyst. One of the obvious symptoms of this condition is a bump prone to change in size. In most cases it is soft and does not move.
When a ganglion cyst appears, it is accompanied with swelling that usually occurs suddenly or over time. In many cases, it can withdraw, but usually appears again at another time. In the majority of cases, the ganglion cyst causes pain, which is persistent and tends to become worse with joint motion. In the case when a ganglion cyst is linked to a tendon, the person may feel a sense of weakness in the affected finger.
Treatment of ganglion cyst
In most cases the ganglion cysts disappear alone and the treatment is not necessary. However, in some severe cases, a surgery is recommended for the removal of ganglion cyst.