A ganglion is a small, usually hard bump above a tendon or in the capsule that encloses a joint. A ganglion is also called a synovial hernia or synovial cyst.
A ganglion is a non-cancerous cyst filled with a thick, jelly-like fluid. Ganglions can develop on or beneath the surface of the skin and usually occur between the ages of 20 and 40.
Most ganglions develop on the hand or wrist. This condition is common in people who bowl or who play handball, raquetball, squash, or tennis. Runners and athletes who jump, ski, or play contact sports often develop foot ganglions.
Causes and symptoms
Mild sprains or other repeated injuries can irritate and tear the thin membrane covering a tendon, causing fluid to leak into a sac that swells and forms a ganglion.
Ganglions are usually painless, but range of motion may be impaired. Flexing or bending the affected area can cause discomfort, as can continuing to perform the activity that caused the condition.
Cysts on the surface of the skin usually develop slowly but may result from injury or severe strain. An internal
ganglion can cause soreness or a dull, aching sensation, but the mass cannot always be felt. Symptoms sometimes become evident only when the cyst causes pressure on a nerve or outgrows the membrane surrounding it.