What are ganglia?
Ganglia is a sac-like swelling or cyst that forms on tissues called synovium that produce lubrication for your joints and tendons. Ganglion form when these tissues are inflamed with a jelly-like fluid usually due to a localized trauma. However, many cases occur for unknown reasons.
Ganglia can also be early predictors of arthritis. Ganglia appear most frequently on the wrist and ankles and cause no pain. Larger cysts, also known as Baker cysts, can form on the back of the knee, leading to a feeling of tightness.
How are they treated?
In many cases, a ganglion will burst and disappear on its own. Occasionally your doctor will opt to remove the fluid using a needle and syringe, potentially pairing this drainage with an injection of cortisone medication. Draining the cyst is successful 30 percent to 50 percent of the time.
Surgery is a less common treatment option. If you have recurring ganglion, ask your doctor to evaluate you for systemic types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.