What are they:
A ganglion cyst is a non-tumoral tumefaction filled with synovial fluid.
This liquid is a lubricant that is found inside the joints and in the tendon sheaths. Cysts are a common ailment; in most cases they appear on the back of the wrist, less frequently on the palm or at the base of the thumb.
These swellings can be painful, especially after exertion. The dimensions vary over time and can sometimes decrease and disappear. A specialist visit is normally sufficient for an accurate diagnosis however, in some cases, an ultrasound examination may also be useful.
If the cyst does not cause pain or does not restrict movement, simply check that it does not increase in volume. If this is not the case, it is possible to carry out a fine needle aspiration of the contents of the cyst: however, this procedure does not eliminate the communicating stalk or pedicle with the joint so it can reappear sooner or later.
If the symptoms are frequent or intense, the cyst should be surgically removed. The procedure, which lasts about 15 minutes, is performed in a Day Hospital with local anaesthetic of the upper limb.
Although surgery is the most reliable method of treatment, the reappearance of swelling is still possible, although rare.