Ganglion Cysts
Definition

1) Definition:  The ganglion cyst (also known as a wrist cyst, Bible cyst, or dorsal tendon cyst) is the most common soft tissue mass of the hand.  It is a fluid filled sac which can be felt below the skin.  It is usually attached to a tendon sheath (lining which lubricates the tendon) in the hand or wrist or connected with an underlying joint;  however, some have no obvious connection to any structures.  These may also occur in the foot.  It often occurs when there is a tear in the ligaments overlying the lining of tendons or joints and the lining herniates out of the ligamentous defect causing a bump under the skin.  Because there is often inflammation associated, the inflamed tissue produces a jelly-like fluid which fills the protruding sac.  They may be rock hard due to a high pressure of the mucous like fluid contained within the cyst, and are often mistaken for a bony prominence.

The picture above illustrates some of the more common areas of the hand where ganglia occur.
 


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