Ganglion cysts are noncancerous lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. They also may occur in the ankles and feet. Ganglion cysts are typically round or oval and are filled with a jellylike fluid.
Small ganglion cysts can be pea-sized, while larger ones can be around an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. Ganglion cysts can be painful if they press on a nearby nerve. Their location can sometimes interfere with joint movement.
The lumps associated with ganglion cysts can be characterized by:
Location Ganglion cysts most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. The next most common locations are the ankles and feet. These cysts can occur near other joints as well.
Shape and size Ganglion cysts are round or oval and usually measure less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. Some are so small that they can't be felt. The size of a cyst can fluctuate, often getting larger when you use that joint for repetitive motions.
Pain Ganglion cysts usually are painless. But if a cyst presses on a nerve — even if the cyst is too small to form a noticeable lump — it can cause pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.
When to See a Doctor
Come see us if you experience a noticeable lump or pain in your wrist, hand, ankle or foot. We can make a diagnosis and determine whether you need treatment.