A ganglion tumor is a cystic tumor that contains a sticky, yellow liquid within a thin, fibrous capsule. Nodular cysts that occur frequently on the wrist, palm, fingers, and ankles on the back of the hand are especially common on the wrist. It is known to account for 50% to 70% of all tumors occurring on the hands. In addition, the incidence rate is two to three times higher in women than in men, and by age, it occurs in all age groups, but is reported to be most common in the age group in their 20s and 30s. The main cause of wrist ganglion is not yet clear. It is known that the cells or tendons of the membrane surrounding the joint cause degenerative changes to produce mucus, and the mucus created in this way accumulates and becomes a lump. It has also been known to be more likely to occur when the wrist is overuse or when the joint membrane is damaged due to arthritis or trauma. Now, let’s look at the various symptoms, treatment, and management related information when a wrist ganglion occurs one by one.
Main symptoms of wrist ganglion
The most common symptom of wrist ganglion is the palpation of a hard lump. There is no pain at first, but when the size of the lump grows to a certain extent, you may feel discomfort as if the surrounding tissue is being pressed according to the movement of the joint. Also, if you have a lump on the back of your hand, bending your wrist toward the palm of your hand can cause the lump to protrude more and harden, causing pressure and pain. It can also cause pressure and pain when performing strenuous movements on the wrist, such as touching the ground. And if there is a lump in the finger joint, it may cause pain when holding an object. It is known that these wrist ganglion tumors are not malignant tumors and do not pose a major threat to health as they do not metastasize. However, it is said that the lump is large and, depending on the location, not only causes cosmetic problems, but also causes pressure and pain when moving the joint, which can accompany various inconveniences in daily life. Also, depending on the location and shape of the lump, it can compress the surrounding nerves and cause nerve abnormalities such as numbness in the fingers. Therefore, if the size of the lump is large and it causes pain continuously, it is important to receive an accurate examination and treatment through a visit. However, there are cases where self-treatment, such as a painless ganglion tumor, is attempted to remove, and if such treatment is performed arbitrarily, it may become more difficult to treat later, so it is important to visit a hospital and receive professional treatment from a medical staff.
Treatment and management of wrist ganglion
1. Diagnosis through multiple tests
In order to diagnose wrist ganglion, the location, shape, and motility of the tumor are identified and confirmed. When a flashlight is applied to the skin to illuminate a lump, the diagnosis is based on clinical changes such as a red color of the lump. In addition, an ultrasound examination can be performed to confirm that the inside of the mass is liquid, and an X-ray or MRI examination is also performed to differentiate it from joint abnormalities and other similar diseases.
2. Treatment according to the diagnosis result
The treatment of wrist ganglion can be largely non-surgical, conservative treatment and surgical treatment as a result of the diagnosis through the various tests mentioned above. Non-surgical treatment can be done using a syringe to drain the mucus inside the tubercle. It is simple and has the advantage of leaving almost no scars, but it is known that there is a high probability of recurrence because the mucus-accumulating sac and joint membrane remain. And, if the size of the lump is excessively large or pain persists despite these non-surgical treatments, surgical treatment such as incision and endoscopy can be performed.
3. Correct the habit that puts strain on the wrist
In order to alleviate and manage the symptoms of wrist ganglion, it is important to correct the habit of putting stress on the wrist. In particular, as the incidence of wrist ganglion is high in occupational groups who work with computers for a long time or housewives who use a lot of wrists, it is important to manage them consistently. When using a keyboard and mouse, it is recommended to avoid bending the wrist or working for a long time in a fixed position, and stretching to loosen the wrist and joints after a certain period of time is recommended. In addition, it is recommended to wear a wrist protector when performing sports that use a lot of wrist such as tennis or golf, and it is recommended to reduce the strain on the wrist as much as possible by controlling the appropriate amount of exercise. In addition, as excessive smartphone use is also known to be a factor influencing the occurrence of wrist ganglion, it is recommended to reduce excessive use and at the same time to gently loosen the wrist joint after a certain period of use.