Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Ganglion Cysts

Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion Cysts Symptoms

Most ganglion cysts form a visible lump, however, smaller cysts can remain hidden under the skin. Many cause no symptoms beyond the presence of the visible lump, however a large ganglion cyst can be of cosmetic concern to some individuals. The appearance will be that of a smooth lump under the skin, that is often soft and immobile varying in size from not visible to the naked eye to being to the size of a golf ball. These lumps change in size, including sometimes going away completely only to return again. The majority of ganglion cysts don’t cause symptoms, however sometimes beyond just being a visible swelling they cause:

  • A pinched nerve: if a cyst puts pressure on the nerves that pass through the area the cyst can cause pain, tingling, and/or muscle weakness.
  • Difficulty moving the affected area
  • Pain and aching, made worse by moving associated joints.

Diagnosis Of Cysts

If you suspect you have a ganglion cyst then have it assessed by a doctor to confirm it is in fact a cyst and the lump is not a result of another illness. Assessment by a treating doctor is generally all that is required to arrive at the diagnosis of a ganglion cyst however occasionally the use of other tests are engaged.
Investigation techniques may include:

  • X-rays: Although X-rays will not actually show a ganglion cyst, an X-ray can be used to rule out other conditions such as bone tumor or arthritis.
  • Ultrasound imaging: Can detect and measure ganglion cyst sizes and be used to help distinguish them from other tumors.
  • MRI: Like ultrasound an MRI is used to better show soft tissues and is useful for detecting ganglion cysts that are not visible to the naked eye.
  • Aspiration: Needle aspiration is used to draw off some of the fluid via syringe for it to be examined in a laboratory.

Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Ganglion Cysts should consult his or her physiotherapist, general practitioner or sports medicine specialist.