A Ganglion is a harmless fluid filled sac, which commonly appears on the wrist, hand, ankle or foot. The fluid inside a ganglion may have leaked from a nearby joint or it may be the result of a weakness or bulging in the sheath that surrounds tendons. You can feel the fluid move around inside the sac. Sometimes they occur after an injury, but often there is no known cause.
Ganglions can be painful, but lots don’t cause any problems. The swelling can slowly increase, or they can appear quickly out of nowhere. Sometimes a ganglion will disappear on its own without any treatment, but also they can reappear later on!
Although ganglions are mostly harmless it is still best to get them checked by your podiatrist or doctor. An ultrasound investigation will usually be ordered to confirm the ganglion and its size. There are three treatment options:
Monitor – ganglions can disappear without any treatment. If you are lucky, your ganglion will disappear on its own!
Aspiration – This involves removing the liquid from the ganglion by using a needle to draw out the fluid. A steroid is often injected after this and the area strapped or splinted. This can be repeated if the fluid returns.
Surgery – Ganglions can be surgically removed. Surgery is usually performed when the ganglion is painful or is interfering with movement.