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Understanding the Basics Behind Hand & Wrist Pain
What is Cyst Removal?
Most of us are familiar with how hand and wrist injuries normally occur. Chronic pain develops over time as a result of repetitive motions and poor form, and acute injuries can happen at any given moment. However, some issues are less known in terms of their origin.One of these is a ganglion cyst in the hand.
>Ganglions are fluid-filled, almost jelly-like cysts that appear as a mass or lump in the hand. They can appear just about anywhere on the hand, growing out of the tissues that surround the joint. Cysts are very common and in most instances they’re harmless. They can become problematic if they grow too large or impact mobility, leading to pain and reduced function.
If you’re dealing with a cyst in your hand or wrist, the highly skilled providers at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance can help. We have several different treatment options to help guide you toward a solution. One of these options is cyst removal, which we perform at our clinics in the Kansas City area.
What are some signs of the presence of a Ganglion Cyst? They may include:
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance hand & Wrist Assessment
Assessing the Injury
Determining the proper treatment process for hand and wrist injuries starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers. You can think of hand and wrist pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others.
The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.
Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:
From there, we can decide what treatment option will align best with your needs and lifestyle goals.
Once we’ve completed a proper assessment, your provider will often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis. This may include:
Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the wrist. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI captures images of muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.
A physician inserts a needle in the hip and injects medicine into the joint. In most cases, the provider uses a real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy) or ultrasound to see where to place the needle in the joint.
Establishing a Care Plan
Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you. Many people believe it’s best to wait until their pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like cyst removal in Kansas City.
If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or increasing inability to perform your daily activities, a treatment like cyst removal may be right for you. New technologies allow patients with severe hand and wrist concerns to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more active, pain-free lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least two phone calls:
Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:
Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your cyst. Always check with your physician before surgery for their specific instructions.
Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery. Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.
Day of Surgery
If you schedule your surgery at Kansas City Orthopedic Institute, you can expect the following on surgery day:
How it Works
If conservative treatments fail to remove the cyst, or if you’re still having issues with pain and joint movement, surgical treatment may be the best option. Surgery may involve either an open excision or an arthroscopic one.
The difference between the two is that an arthroscopic incision will involve the use of a tiny camera to cut out and remove the stalk of the cyst. An open procedure involves a larger incision over the top of the cyst.
Ganglion cyst removal in Kansas City is an outpatient procedure, which means that patients can return home that same day. The location of the cyst will often drive the decision as to whether a local anesthesia or general anesthesia will be applied. Your doctor will help make this decision with you, after considering all factors and reviewing all diagnostic testing.
Once your surgeon removes the cyst and the stalk the incision will be cleaned, closed and bandaged. After a brief surgery recovery, you’ll be provided aftercare instructions and sent home to rest.
Each patient’s recovery plan and their exact timeline for a full recovery will vary based on a few different factors, including age, activity level, and goals for treatment. After ganglion cyst removal in Kansas City, you can expect to remain in a bandage or splint for roughly 7 to 10 days. Depending on how you feel and what your specific occupation is, you may be able to return to work within a few days.
What to Expect
You’ll need to rest, ice, and elevate the area following surgery to make sure the area heals properly. Additionally, you’ll need to follow specific wound care, diet, and medication recommendations. Full recovery should take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the factors above and how closely you follow your aftercare instructions.
Common Signs and Symptoms of a Ganglion Cyst
Ganglion cysts can form in a variety of different sizes. Ganglion cysts generally aren’t very big and usually don’t cause a lot of disruption or pain. However they have the potential to cause pain if the cyst presses on the nerve.They can also cause issues with motion and function if they grow in a location where mobility is necessary.
Currently, medical experts aren’t entirely sure what causes ganglion cysts to form.This means that it’s difficult to determine the risk factors for their development. We do know that most ganglion cysts form in people between the ages of 20 and 40 and that arthritis and joint/tendon injuries may play a factor.
You can remove a ganglion cyst both surgically and non-surgically, and many patients seek removal when the pain becomes too much to handle or interferes with their range of motion.
Causes of Hand & Wrist Pain
The body has a number of different joints that all work in unison in order to function normally. However, all of these different working parts means that your hand and wrist can face a variety of potential injuries. The severity of your hand and wrist pain will vary depending on a few key factors, including both the location and the source of the problem.
As with many of the other joints in your body, both the hand and wrist are susceptible to acute injuries, it can be susceptible to injuries that occur acutely or more chronic conditions that build up over the years because of repetitive motions or poor form. The soft tissue of your hand and wrist, consisting of muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments, help to protect these joints and bones.
Whether you’re suffering from an acute or chronic injury, the hand and wrist specialists at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance are here to assist. We’ll help you find the root cause of your pain and determine whether cyst removal is right for you or if you require a different treatment.
In most cases, surgery is not the first option for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. If we can treat your knee issues with more conservative treatments, we’ll choose those options. We typically exhaust all non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery.
Non-surgical treatments for the hand & wrist and include:
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.
Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.
With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.
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