If you are starting to notice a strange growth on the top of your wrist or hand, there is a chance that you might have a ganglion cyst. These cysts usually are not painful, but they can interfere with normal parts of life. If you have this problem, you may want to visit an orthopedic doctor, like those at Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester, to find out what you can do about it.
What are ganglion cysts?
Ganglion cysts are lumps found primarily on the hands and wrists. They develop internally and are filled with fluid. They often resemble the shape of a small water balloon and are more likely to occur in people that have recently had injuries on their hands. They are also common with people that suffer from osteoarthritis.
In most cases, having a ganglion cyst is not dangerous. This particular type of cyst is not cancerous and most are completely harmless.
How does a doctor diagnose it?
There are several different things an orthopedic doctor will do when diagnosing a condition like this. The first step is visually inspecting the lump. An orthopedic doctor will be very familiar with ganglion cysts and will know how to identify them by their location.
The second thing is feeling the lump. Ganglion cysts are usually firm and round; however, there are certain ones that are actually soft. After looking at it and feeling it, the doctor may want to get x-rays of it just to be certain that it is a ganglion cyst.
How are they treated?
The big question is what will your doctor do for this cyst, and there are several different remedies. The first remedy is to do nothing. If the cyst does not hurt you and is not bothering your lifestyle, the doctor may decide to leave it and do nothing. If this is what your doctor suggests, you may need to return every few months to have him or her examine it.
If the cyst is bothering you in any way, your orthopedic doctor might suggest taking medication for it. Anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce the inflammation in the cyst, but this is not always enough. If this doesn't seem to help you, the doctor might suggest performing an aspiration, which is a procedure that is used to remove the fluid found inside the lump.
If you feel that you might have a ganglion cyst, you should visit a doctor to have it examined. Even though these are not usually harmful, visiting an orthopedic doctor for an examination is the safest route for you to take.