Removal of Ganglions
Ganglion is a Greek word meaning "a knot of tissue." Ganglions were first described by Hippocrates and can be found emanating from any joint but are mostly seen in and around the wrist.
These lumps and bumps are not cancerous tumors at all and, in fact, have never been linked to cancer in any way. Rather, they are balloon-like sacs, which are filled with a jelly-like material. They are more frequently seen in women, and the reason for their occurrence is unknown.
One explanation is that they occur where there is a weak place in a joint capsule that develops a "blowout." This area forms a balloon-like extension of a joint with a one-way valve from the joint. Joint fluid can then flow into the balloon through the one-way flap valve but cannot return to the joint. Therefore, the ganglion generally becomes larger and larger.
The relationship between ganglion formation and occupation and injury is not totally understood. Ganglions can also be seen in and around tendons. A common place where this occurs is the palm of the hand at the base of the finger.
Most hand surgeons allow patients to choose the treatment of their ganglion. Since we know that these are not cancerous lumps, one can feel comfortable leaving the ganglion alone as long as it is not bothersome. In olden times doctors recommended hitting a ganglion with a large book (usually the Bible as it was the largest book available) and thus rupturing the sac.
Nowadays, if the patient is bothered by pain or unsightly appearance, the hand surgeon can either aspirate (take the fluid out with a needle) or surgically remove the ganglion. Though surgery offers a better prognosis of a "cure", it requires an operating room, while needle aspiratons can be easily accomplished in the office. Regardless of the type of treatment, ganglions can recur even with satisfactory surgery. (Hitting a ganglion with a large book is not recommended, since serious damage to bones and ligaments can occur.)
Of course no two people are the same. We would be happy to discuss your unique foot condition. You can always reach us:
1. Call and talk to a Doctor
2. Send your concerns and questions to us via E-mail
3. Arrange for a in-office consultation.