What is it?

A ganglion of joint, also known as a ganglion cyst, is a noncancerous lump that usually develops along the tendons or joints of wrists or hands. It can also appear in the ankles and feet. A ganglion cyst is typically round or oval and is filled with a jelly-like fluid.
A ganglion of a joint is varied in size, it can be small like a pea-sized, while a larger one can be around an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. It can be painful if it presses on a nearby nerve. The location can sometimes interfere with joint movement.

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Signs & symptoms

The most common locations of ganglion of joint are tendons or joints of wrists or hands. The next most common locations are the ankles and feet. These ganglions can occur near other joints as well.
The Ganglions are round or oval and usually measure less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. The size can vary, and often get larger when you use that joint for repetitive movement.
Ganglion of joint is usually painless. But if a cyst presses on a nerve it can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness.


The diagnosis of ganglion of joint based on medical history and physical examination. During the physical exam, the doctor applies pressure to the cyst to test for tenderness or discomfort. The doctor also tries to determine if the cyst is a solid mass or filled with fluid, this test is done by shining through the cyst by light.
For ruling out other conditions, the doctor may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasound, or MRI.
The diagnosis may be confirmed by aspiration, meaning drawing out fluid from the cyst.


Ganglion of joint is usually painless anddoes not require treatment. If the cyst causes pain or interferes with joint movement, there are several treatment options. Immobilization by brace or splint can help the cyst contract (because activity can cause the ganglion cyst to get large). Another option is to drain the cyst with a needle. After this procedure, the cyst usually recurs. If these options haven't worked, removing the cyst surgically also is an option. The cyst can recur even after surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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