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Ganglia: Safe bumps under the skin
A leg like this is a benign tumor that affects a relatively large number of people. The tumors, medically referred to as "ganglia", often show up in the area of the wrist and back of the hand, but can also appear in other parts of the body. Legs often do not cause discomfort, but some sufferers experience massive pain and restricted movement. Various methods can be used to remove the bump under the skin. Surgical intervention is only necessary in rare cases.
Definition: What is a leg over leg?
A leg (medical: ganglion) is a benign, nodular change under the skin that is relatively common. The small bump can become so hard that it gives the impression that it is a bony structure. However, this is not the case, instead a chamber filled with viscous fluid (cyst) forms, which is connected to neighboring joints, cartilage or tendon sheaths.
The ganglion in the area of a joint capsule or tendon sheath is usually clearly visible or palpable. The small knobs are particularly common in the area of the wrist or on the fingers, but in principle legs can also form on all other joints, such as the foot or knee. They can occur individually as well as being recognizable in large numbers at different parts of the body at the same time.
Ganglia are benign soft tissue tumors - the term "tumor" only describes the swelling and should therefore not be misunderstood. Because a leg is harmless and has nothing to do with a malignant cancer. The synovial fluid (mycin) with which the cyst is filled mainly consists of hyaluronic acid.
The change under the skin can occur at any age, but is particularly common in younger people between 20 and 30 years of age. Likewise, women are at increased risk, because between the ages of 20 and 40 they are diagnosed with a leg more than three times more often than in men. But not only adults are affected - benign tumors can also develop in children.
Symptoms of over leg
Typically, a ganglion appears in the form of an egg-shaped oval swelling or a plump, elastic knot under the skin, which can be the size of a pea to a cherry. The hardening usually occurs on the wrist or fingers, less often it is localized on the knee, back of the foot, the shoulder or the elbow.
Mostly, legs do not cause discomfort. In some cases, they only cause pain with certain movements. There may also be permanent, dull pain and / or an uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the affected area. Some of the small knobs are sensitive to pressure and there are restrictions on movement. If the ganglion is very large, it can press on the nerves and cause tingling in the limbs and feelings of numbness.
If a leg is not recognizable or felt, for example on the wrist, it can show up in the form of joint pain. These often radiate and can therefore also be perceived as arm and / or elbow pain.
Causes of ganglia
It has not yet been fully clarified what causes an overleg. It is suspected that a weak point in the area of the joint capsule or tendon sheath in conjunction with an existing pressure increase in the joint (e.g. due to increased production of synovial fluid) is the reason. Such a weak point can arise, for example, from a general weakness of the connective tissue. Congenital disorders or overstretching due to previous injuries or sprains can also lead to changes in the capsular ligament apparatus. Another possible trigger can be chronic irritation (e.g. with arthrosis), which leads to an increased formation of synovial fluid.
Due to the increased fluid, the soft inner synovial membrane is turned outwards and a cyst is formed. The so-called ganglion style forms the connection between the cyst and the joint. The synovial fluid continues to flow through this and finally thickens like a jelly in the upper leg.
The size of this ultimately depends on how much synovial fluid gets into the cavity. In some cases, over-legs remain so small that they are not visible from the outside (“occult” ganglia), in other cases they grow to be several centimeters in size.
Most cysts appear on the back (extensor side) of the wrist, other frequently affected areas are the flexor side of the wrist (in the course of the artery) and the flexor side of the base of the fingers. It is also possible that the synovial membranes turn inside and a cyst develops between the carpal bones ("intraosseous ganglion").
An over leg often does not cause any complaints and is therefore usually only a small "blemish" that does not require medical treatment. Often, waiting and doing nothing is the best therapy, because many legs overthrow themselves within a few months.
In other sufferers, however, pain and restricted movement occur, for example, due to a “knobs” on the hand. In this case, a doctor should be consulted promptly to clarify the question "What can help with a leg over the wrist?"
In the case of complaints, an attempt is usually first made to improve the situation by avoiding stressful activities or overloading and wearing a wrist bandage. If necessary, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Diclofenac and Ibuprofen are used. In many cases, the ganglion disappears on its own or at least becomes smaller as a result of these measures.
Sometimes the manual crushing of the leg is successful. The ganglion can either be massaged with light pressure to push the fluid back into the joint, or it can burst at one point with strong pressure. Danger: The crushing of the ganglion should definitely be done by a doctor. Self-treatment should be avoided in order not to risk injuries or inflammation! This also applies to outdated techniques such as "hitting" with a heavy object or book.
Another option for treatment is the so-called puncture. In this procedure, the doctor punctures the ganglion with a hollow needle so that the liquid it contains can drain off or be aspirated. Relapse occurs in about a third of the cases, however, permanent cure can be achieved by injecting cortisone preparations. If this does not improve, an operation is usually carried out.
If the ganglion does not cause any symptoms, surgery is usually not necessary because it is a benign tumor. However, if it becomes very large or if the person concerned is disturbed for cosmetic reasons, surgical removal can be considered. From a medical point of view, surgery is indicated if the symptoms persist and / or are very pronounced or if a puncture has not been successful.
In most cases, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia or regional anesthesia of the arm (partial anesthesia). With a small incision, the ganglion is removed with the style and the joint capsule at the base of this connection is slightly fenestrated in order to reinforce this area.
Alternatively, wrist ganglia on the extensor side can be removed as part of an arthroscopic operation (joint mirroring). This removes the stalk of the ganglion and part of the wall of the joint, which allows the fluid to drain and the leg to disappear.
Prevent over-leg by relaxation and relief
In spite of the initially successful treatment, ganglia often reappear after a while - especially if the joint cannot be spared, for example due to work. Accordingly, to prevent over-legs, it is important to avoid overloading or improperly loading the joints as much as possible.
Especially with recurring, one-sided movements, it is important to pay attention to relief and balance. This affects above all people who constantly tap and click on the PC for hours, craftsmen and athletes. It often helps to consciously make sure that the usual manipulations are changed regularly. Regular relaxation and loosening exercises for the muscles and joints have a beneficial effect and ensure mobility, it is also important to get up and stretch and stretch extensively from time to time. (No)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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- Professional Association for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (BVOU): Ganglion (accessed: August 12, 2019), orthinform.de
- Sauerbier, Michael / Eisenschenk, Andreas / u .: Die Handchirurgie, Urban & Fischer Verlag / Elsevier GmbH, 2014
- Mayo Clinic: Ganglion cyst (accessed: August 12, 2019), mayoclinic.org
- American Society for Surgery of the Hand: Ganglion cysts (accessed: August 12, 2019), assh.org
- National Health Service: Ganglion cyst (accessed: August 12, 2019), nhs.uk
ICD codes for this disease: M67ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.