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Anglion Cysts - Symptoms and Treatment

Anglion cyst is a swelling that often appears on or around joints and tendons in the hand (or sometimes feet). The word "Anglion" means "knot" and is used to describe the knot-like mass or lump of cells that forms below the surface of the skin. Anglion cysts are among the most common benign soft-tissue masses. Although they most often occur on the wrist, they also frequently develop on the foot usually on the top, but elsewhere as well. Anglion cysts vary in size, may get smaller and larger over time and may even disappear, only to possibly return later. Exercises may also be prescribed to strengthen the wrist and improve range of motion. If the cyst does not clear up over time and becomes painful or uncomfortable, it can be drained. Reccurent cysts may be surgically removed if necessary. Anglion cysts are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50.

Anglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that is usually attached to either a tendon sheath or a joint lining. This situation may result from an injury, or be secondary to overuse of a joint. Common symptoms include: a nontender, firm mass, palpable under the skin, often appearing on the tops of feet, hands, and wrists. They have been known to cause localized discomfort and paresthesias (numbness and tingling) from compression on nearby nerves. Treatment involves surgical removal of the cyst by a qualified Plastic surgeon or thopaedic surgeon. Splinting and anti-inflammatory agents (ibuprofen) can help reduce symptoms but will not cure the problem.

Causes of Anglion Cysts

The common Causes of Anglion Cysts :

  • The cause of a Anglion cyst is unknown.
  • These cysts are usually the result of an injury or trauma that you may not recall.
  • The body responds to injury, trauma or overuse by forming an internal 'blister'.
  • Small tears in the tendon membrane or joint capsule allow the contents to squeeze out.
  • Those occupations that require workers to excessively overuse certain joints such as the wrist and fingers pose the risk for Anglion cysts.

Symptoms of Anglion Cysts

Some sign and Symptoms related to Anglion Cysts :

  • Pain or tenderness at the site of the bump.
  • The back of the hands and wrists are most commonly affected.
  • In some cases, the lump is painful and aching, particularly those at the base of fingers.
  • Other sites include the back of the knee (Bakers cyst), ankle, foot, palm and fingers.
  • Numbness, swelling, or muscle weakness around the affected joint.

Treatment of Anglion Cysts

  • The cyst or cysts are surgically removed, usually by a specialist such as an orthopaedic surgeon. Anglion cysts of the feet will usually require surgery.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or aspirin to relieve pain and swelling .
  • If the cyst causes no pain and does not interfere with walking, the surgeon may decide it is best to carefully watch the cyst over a period of time.
  • one of the tests to diagnose ganglion cysts involves drawing off the fluid with a fine needle. In many cases (around 75 per cent), this treatment empties the cyst and no further action is needed.
  • The treatment can consist of rest, splinting the affected joint and, in some cases, aspiration of fluid is recommended.



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