All About Ganglion Cysts
Ganglion cysts occur more often in females, typically between the ages of 20-40. Although these types of cysts can occur at any age, they are rarely seen in children younger than ten years of age. They can develop at the base of the fingers, below the cuticle of a fingertip, around the ankle or knee, or at the top of the foot. The most common location of a ganglion cyst however, is on the wrist. While the causes of ganglion cysts are not well understood, they are usually harmless, although they can be painful because they place pressure on surrounding bone and tissues, and may need to be treated by a doctor.
Ganglion cysts can change sizes as they fill with fluid or deflate with synovial fluid. Many do not cause symptoms, although as mentioned, they can be painful or otherwise bothersome. If the cyst has formed on top of a tendon, it may cause weakness in the affected finger(s).
While ganglion cysts are rarely anything to worry about, they should be examined and treated by a qualified physician. The doctor may need to draw out some fluid, or run an ultrasound test in order to verify that it is a ganglion cyst. In some cases, a blood vessel may be involved and other tests, such as an MRI, may be required to evaluate the cyst.
Years ago people routinely broke cysts with a heavy book, such as the bible, hence the common name of a “bible bump” to describe a ganglion cyst. This is not recommended as it may cause further damage to underlying joint tissues and blood vessels. It may also not actually cure the cyst as it can reform and refill. In some cases, surgery may be required to permanently remove the cyst.
If you or a loved one are worried about a ganglion cyst, or if you would like to make an appointment with one of our highly rated hand specialists, please do not hesitate to contact Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at 719-623-1050, or use our easy online appointment request form.