Ganglion Cyst Finger

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Ganglion Cyst Finger – Dysfunction of the Tendon Sheaths and Joints

A ganglion cyst is a swelling or lump that is developed between the fascia sheaths in tendons and near joints. It appears like a pea sized outgrowth that pops out from the skin. It can sometimes causes pain and the shape and size can change from one day to another.

One of the most common places to get a ganglion cyst is on the wrist or finger. A cyst that occurs on the finger is called the ganglion cyst finger or mucous cysts. It can occur anywhere from the fingertips down to the wrist or even near the elbow. These cysts occur mainly on the line of a muscle tendon.

What causes Ganglion Cyst Finger?

The exact cause of ganglion cyst finger is unknown. But, it may suggest that ganglion cysts are caused by dysfunction of the sheaths of tendon and joint which causes joint tissue and fluid to be trapped in between the sheaths of tendons. This causes a jelly like substance to swell and balloon up near the joint causing a ganglion cyst.

The dysfunction can be caused by trauma, repetitive injury or strain that has occurred directly on the joint and tendon. For instance, people in manufacturing where they use their hands a lot, for instance making toys or processing food, can cause a ganglion cyst to develop on their fingers.

What are the signs and symptoms of Ganglion Cyst Finger

The signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • A lump of mass or bump that protrudes out from the finger
  • Can be very small (pea sized or even smaller) – approximately 1-2 centimetres or ½ -1 inch
  • Shape and size can vary depending on day, month, season, weather or activity
  • Clicking sound when flexing or extending fingers
  • Pain around the ganglion. Worse on movement, especially quick movements
  • The ganglion can cause constant aching or inflammation
  • Stiffness in the fingers especially in the morning
  • Weakness on the affected finger. Grip strength can also be weak
  • Can come and go. That is, the cyst can disappear and reappear again in a few weeks/months
  • Cold weather can make it worse or painful

How can you diagnose it?

The best way to get it diagnosed is to see a musculoskeletal specialist or rheumatologist. It can also be diagnosed by having an ultrasound to the ganglion or aspiration (injection) to remove fluid from the ganglion to be analysed.

How do you treat it?

There are many ways to treat it.

Here are some of the common treatments of Ganglion Cysts:

  • Deep tissue massage
  • Heat
  • Cold therapy
  • Excision of the ganglion cyst finger
  • Pressure support
  • Splinting
  • Wrist braces
  • Finger braces
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening exercises

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