A non-cancerous fluid-filled lump commonly occurring on the tendons or joints is called a Ganglion Cyst. Commonly referred to as Ganglia, Gideon's disease, Olamide's cyst, Bible cyst, Bible bump or synovial cyst, they vary in size resulting in some being large and quite visible underneath the skin to a pea sized version which are completely invisible.
The ultimate cause of this knots is still unknown, but several studies suggest the most probable cause for their development is due to breakdown of connective tissue near joints and tendons or due to injury or stress at the joints.
Discovered as a knot beneath the skin by Hippocrates – a Greek physician, Ganglion cysts are mostly round, or oval and are filled with a clear, colourless, jelly-like fluid. They are usually harmless but can often be quite painful, tingling or cause numbness if they are pressing against a nerve.
- Occurs mostly near joints and tendons -- back of the hands, back or side of the wrists, end joint of the fingers or base of the nail cuticle, ankles and feet.
- Painful sensation due to movement of joints
- Cysts connected to tendons causes weakness and numbness in the finger.
- Usually soft and undeviating and sizing up to 1-3 centimetres in diameter.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
The lumps are usually diagnosed by imaging techniques like X-ray, MRI or ultrasound to see whether the knots are opaque or transparent. Doctors may also run some tests by taking samples of the fluid.
Ganglia being non-cancerous can sometimes disappear on its own. Warm compression done regularly may minimize the pain, increase blood circulation at the affected parts and allow drainage of the fluid intact. Over the counter medications and homeopathic treatment options are also availed by several patients to get rid of the knot slowly. But for the one’s which are painful and need immediate removal, your doctor may suggest a few procedures like:
Removing the knot and the stalk by arthroscopic method or draining the fluid from the lump by the process of aspiration.
Keeping the affected part stable using braces or splints.