When ganglion cysts disrupt your function, it’s time to seek treatment

The word ganglion means “knot” and that is exactly what it feels like when you have a ganglion cyst. Ganglion cysts are noncancerous masses that form below the surface of your skin. They occur most often in the feet and hands, in the tissue near a joint. They may also occur on the outside of your knees or ankles.

A ganglion cyst is filled with fluid and can range in size and shape. If you have a ganglion cyst, it may appear and then go away for a while and then reappear again. A ganglion cyst causes symptoms such as:

  • A bump or lump under your skin
  • Pain or aching at the site of the cyst
  • Swelling at the site of the cyst
  • Weakness, if the cyst is near a tendon

Ganglion cysts happen due to trauma at the joint, either sudden or due to a repetitive injury. Main Line Health offers complete evaluation and treatment options for ganglion cysts.

Get rid of ganglion cysts for good

Not all ganglion cysts need to be treated. In fact, some will disappear without any treatment. Main Line Health offers both non-surgical and surgical treatment options for ganglion cysts that cause pain, interfere with walking and other daily functions, or that simply won’t heal.

Non-surgical treatment options for ganglion cysts include:

  • Aspiration – Your doctor will use a thin needle to drain the fluid from the ganglion cyst. After, a steroid medication can be injected at the site to help promote faster healing.
  • Modification – Your doctor may prescribe a special wrist guard or shoe modifications (padding) to make it easier for you to perform daily functions, such as walking or writing, without aggravating the symptoms of your ganglion cyst.

If your ganglion cyst continues to cause you pain or problems, or if it continues to return after aspiration treatment, surgery may be needed. Most of the time, surgical removal of a ganglion cyst is successful at preventing the cyst from returning. After surgery, you may need physical therapy or occupational therapy to return to full function.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.