What is a Ganglion?
A ganglion is a fluid-filled sack most often communicating with a joint, or the sheath of a tendon (the tunnel that some tendons lie within). This connection with another fluid-filled area accounts for the ganglions ability to fluctuate in size as fluid enters or leaves the ganglion. If you shine a small pen torch onto the lump through the skin in a dark room and it glows, the lump is most likely to be a ganglion. The exact nature of a ganglion and how it forms is not clear; however, ganglions are benign non-cancerous lumps. Ganglions are quite common and do not always cause problems but for some people they can be unsightly or cause discomfort. Of course, it is also possible to have a ganglion and another condition which is separately causing symptoms not caused by the ganglion.
A lump may appear in your hand or finger. The lump often starts off small but may grow or fluctuate in size. The lump may not cause any other problems other than being cosmetically displeasing, or involve minor aching. Ganglions on the palm side of the fingers or hand may be tender when using the hand. Ganglions found on the back of the fingertips may burst intermittently, and can occasionally become infected in the days after they burst. The more common areas for ganglions to be present are; the back of the wrist, on the thumb side below the palm on the wrist, on the back of the end joint of the fingers, or on the palm side of the base of the hand, or in the fingers. Although ganglions are the most common hand lump, other types of problems can cause hand lumps. If in doubt you should consult your family doctor or discuss your concerns with Mr Jarrett.