What is Carpal Ganglion Cyst?
Subconsciously, we use our hands regularly throughout the day. For example, we flex our wrist to pick up objects, or we twist it to wring out clothes. The wrist composes of many muscles and tendons, working together systematically. Within the wrist, fluid lubricates the joints which enables them to move smoothly and more conveniently.
The effect of the carpal ganglion cyst (CGC)
The continued use of the wrist, can sometimes cause the leak of the aforementioned lubrication fluid as it accumulates at the back of the wrist. This accumulation will increase over time. In addition to this , when squeezed, it will feel like a hard water-bag. Consequently, it will enlarge if it is forcefully flexed or if the wrist is bent backwards. Unfortunately, the cyst can become increasingly bigger, due to fact that the leak of the fluid is substantially more than the out flow or the resorption rate. When the cyst grows in size, it forms a noticeable lump which can lead to an individual becoming self-conscious and will often make them feel uncomfortable.
Furthermore, as the cyst develops, it will start to put additional strain on the tendon as it presses against it, causing the inflammation of the tendon. Something positive that can be drawn from this is that it is not dangerous; it is a normal tumor, and it will not turn out to be a malignant tumor.
The Prevention of Carpal Ganglion Cyst
The best way to prevent the lump from forming, is to prevent the leaking of the joint lubrication fluid into the wrist which causes the cyst to develop. If the wrist is not used properly and is overexerted by being used too frequently or being bent too far back then this will also cause added inflammation. In some extreme cases, a hole will form and the leak will discharge from the cyst, due to the accumulation of the fluid. Therefore, if an
individual feels pain from or develops inflammation, it is recommended that they visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Initially , when the cyst is relatively small in size, patients are recommended to refrain from using the wrist as much as possible throughout the day. Additionally taking anti-inflammation medicine should reduce the size of the cyst. In some cases where the cyst has increased in size it may be necessary to use a syringe to extract the fluid from the cyst, in order to reduce its size. The drawback is that there is a high chance of the cyst recurring.due to the fact that the syringe can only remove outside fluid Both the tissue that surrounds the cyst and the hole that is causing the leak still remain. Therefore, there is a high chance that the fluid will accumulate again and the swelling will return to create a new undesirable lump.
If the size of the cyst becomes too large then an operation to remove the whole cyst is necessary. There are two disadvantages to this. Firstly, the operation will leave a scar which is, of course, much more more visible than when the fluid is extracted using a syringe. Secondly, there is still a chance that the cyst can return as there could be parts of the tissue that surrounded the cyst left behind. Also, the needle stitch, used to seal the leak, could cause a new leak hole. Unfortunately, as many as one out of every five patients will develop a new lump.
After learning of the potential recurrence of the lump, some patients will often decide that further treatment, by the method of either the syringe extraction or through an operation, cannot be justified. If this is the case, once patients have had confirmation that the lump is CGC and nothing more serious then they will often decline treatment and learn to live with it.