What is a Ganglion Cyst?

By Katie Trumble, PT

Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that develops on the surface of the foot joint, tendon, hand, wrist, or knees.  It is unknown why these cysts develop in certain areas of the body.  They develop under the skin as small sacs filled with fluid. 60-70 percent of cysts develop on the back or front of the wrist. Fingers, feet, and areas where you had a joint or tendon injury are also common.

Image of a Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst may need medical treatment.


What is the Best Treatment for a Ganglion Cyst?

Do not try to pop the cyst by cutting into it with a sharp tool or needle. Do not strike the cyst with a heavy object.

  • Over the counter anti-inflammatories for pain
  • Warm compresses will increase blood circulation and help fluid draining
  • Rest

When to See a Doctor for Medical Treatment

If you have a painful lump on your hand, wrist, ankle, or foot, you should see your doctor. A painless cyst does not require treatment. The cysts often resolve on their own. If the cyst is not painful, treatment may not be necessary.

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Related Articles: Ganglion cyst, Bakers cyst and Popliteal Cyst.

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