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9.25 Ganglion Cysts


Presentation

The patient is concerned about a rubbery, rounded swelling emerging from the general area of a tendon sheath of the wrist or hand. It may have appeared abruptly, been present for years, or fluctuated, suddenly resolving and gradually returning in pretty much the same place. There is usually little tenderness, inflammation, or interference with function, but ganglion cysts are bothersome when they get in the way and painful when repeatedly traumatized.

What to do:

Discussion

Ganglion cysts are outpouchings of bursae or tendon sheaths, with no clear etiology and no relation to nerve ganglia. Perhaps they got their name because their contents are like "glue." Reassurance about their insignificance is often the best we can offer patients.

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from Buttaravoli & Stair: COMMON SIMPLE EMERGENCIES
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Craig Feied, MD
Mark Smith, MD
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