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What is a Ganglion?

A ganglion is a fluid – filled swelling (cyst) that usually develops near a joint or tendon. They can range from the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball.

Ganglions look and feel like a smooth lump under the skin. They’re made up of a thick, jelly-like fluid called synovial fluid, which surrounds joints and tendons to lubricate and cushion them during movement.

Ganglions can occur near any joint in the body but are most common on the wrist (particularly the back of the wrist), and the hand and fingers. Ganglions are harmless, but sometimes they can cause pain and restrict movement.

What causes a Ganglion?
It is not clear why ganglions form. They seem to occur when the synovial fluid that surrounds the joint or tendon leaks out and collects in a sac.

What is the treatment for a Ganglion?
If ganglions do not cause any pain or restrictions in movement they can be left alone and may disappear without treatment. Sometimes a splint will help to rest the affected area. The two other main treatment options are draining the fluid out of the cyst or an operation to remove it, but these will only be done if the ganglion is causing problems and even after these procedures the
ganglion can still return.