The doctor may press on the cyst during the physical examination to feel for pain or discomfort and use a light to shine through it to assess if the cyst is a solid mass or fluid. To rule out further illnesses like arthritis or a tumor, your doctor may also advise imaging tests like X–rays, ultrasounds, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Hidden (occult) cysts may also be found using MRIs and ultrasounds.
Aspiration, a procedure in which your doctor uses a needle and syringe to draw out (aspire) the fluid from the cyst, may be used to confirm a ganglion cyst diagnosis. A ganglion cyst will release a thick, clear, or translucent fluid.
Ganglion cysts frequently have no discomfort and do not require treatment and therefore may only need a wait–and–see attitude. Your doctor might suggest the following treatment if the cyst is causing pain or restricting joint movement:
Your doctor might do an arthroscopy (tiny incisions) or open (traditional) procedures. To fully fix the issue, surgeons occasionally need to remove some tissue from the adjacent joint.
Ganglionectomy is the medical term for surgery to remove a ganglion cyst in an outpatient operation, so the recovery time is faster. It takes two to six weeks to fully recover. The complicated treatments that orthopedic surgeons perform on the body’s joints and other soft tissues require specific training.
Your symptoms may be successfully treated with surgery. The likelihood of a ganglion cyst returning is significantly decreased by surgically removing the cyst. However, commonly ganglia recurs after surgery in 5% to 15% of cases.
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