Ganglion Cyst (cont.)
Diagnosis of Ganglion Cysts
A physical exam is often all that is needed to diagnose a ganglion cyst.
- Your doctor may get further confirmation by using a syringe to draw out some of the fluid in the cyst (needle aspiration) or ultrasound. Ultrasound is an imaging procedure involving the use of sound waves, and this can to help evaluate the bump to see if it is fluid-filled (cystic) or solid. Ultrasound can also detect whether there is an artery or blood vessel causing the lump. Advantages of ultrasound detection are the fact that it is becoming more widely available, it's quick, it is inexpensive, and is a reliable imaging mode.
- X-rays have very little use in ganglion diagnosis.
- Your doctor may send you to a hand surgeon if the bump is solid or involves a blood vessel (artery).
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to see the wrist and is very useful for ganglions. One drawback to this diagnostic method is the cost of the procedure.
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