Ganglion Cysts are fluid filled lumps which form beneath the skin often on the wrist and/or fingers. They arise from a small slit or weakened area in the fibrous covering of a joint or tendon.
With hand use, joint or tendon sheath fluid can leak into the fatty layer beneath the skin. The body then responds by forming a fibrous wall around the fluid, thus creating the cyst.
These cysts often have a firm feel and may vary in size from week to week. Sometimes they may even disappear completely only to reappear months or years later. Common sites are the wrist and finger joints. The cysts may be painful if bumped and often grow in size if overuse or repetitive motion of the wrist and hand occurs.
What to expect from therapy
Common treatment of ganglion cysts include needle aspiration and eventual surgical removal if too bothersome or functionally limiting. Following medical intervention, a therapist may provide splinting to reduce movement and prevent cyst recurrence, scar management, reduction of swelling and restoration of normal functional mobility. Your therapist will also be able to provide valuable education in prevention and limiting the risk of recurrence.