I have been having a great summer so far except for the developement of a painful ganglion cyst on my left wrist.
A ganglion cyst is a fluid filled sac on a joint or covering a tendon. This cyst is not harmful and accounts for around half of all hand tumors. They are usually found in the hand or wrist, but can rarely be found on or near the knee or ankle. One theory is that these cysts are caused by acute or chronic trauma to a joint or tendon (WebMD). I have a tendency to develope these cysts on my hands and wrists, and a few years ago I did have one on the back of my left ankle.
They are also known as Bible Bumps, because one nontraditional cure is to hit it with a heavy book, which ruptures the fluid filled sac and gets rid of the cyst (Wikipedia). The nontraditional method is not recommended by the medical community, since the wack may cause damage to the surrounding bones or tissue.
The more traditional treatment is to have the cyst's gel like contents aspirated, or to have it surgically removed by a doctor (SurgeryEncyclopedia.com). In the past I have used both traditional (aspiration) and nontraditional (a good wack) to get rid of ganglion cysts.
This cyst started putting a damper on my activities. It is aggrevated by rowing, paddling, riding, sailing, yoga, keyboarding, driving... just about anything that involves using my wrist.
Last week after getting home from Montana, I went to visit my hand surgeon to have the painful cyst aspirated. The cyst (smaller), but not the pain returned. My dilema is now whether to pursue the tradional route go back to the doctor for multiple aspirations and possibly surgery, to pursue the nontraditional route and hit it with a book, or do nothing unless continues to grow and the pain returns.
I think at this point I will take the conservative and whimpy course of treatment, and do nothing unless it starts to hurt or impede my function again. I will add a comment at a later date if I change my course of treatment.