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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some aspects of Ganglion with homoepathic mode of treatment

A ganglion is a localized, tense, painless, cystic, swelling, containing clear gelatinous fluid. It is the most common soft-tissue tumour of the hand & wrist.

Pathology- The cystic structure of ganglion is formed from the lining of a joint or tendon & is filled with a gelatinous fluid but without any synovial or epithelial lining. A stalk can sometimes be identified communicating between the cyst & an adjacent joint or tendon sheath.

Sex- Ganglion formation is more common in females.

Age-Late teens & young adulthood.

Sites of location- It is commonly seen over the wrist, digital flexor sheath & distal interphalangeal joint, but it can also develop on the shoulder, elbows & knees.

Predisposing factors- Chronic repetitive stress & sometimes injury. Occupational factors may play a vital role in its development. The occupations which require overuse of certain joints such as the wrist, may pose a risk for development of ganglion.

Associated diseases- Some joint diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis are occasionally found to be associated with ganglion.

Clinical features- Ganglion presents itself usually as a painless swelling adjacent to a joint or a tendon mostly on the wrist, especially on the back side & fingers. It is usually asymptomatic & is primarily a cause of cosmetic rather than a functional disturbance to the affected person. The condition, however, may become symptomatic if the ganglion presses on any nearby structure such as an artery, vein, tendon or nerve when the impingement of such a structure may cause pain, triggering of a tendon or vascular compromise. If a nerve is pressed upon, the resulting pain may cause restriction of movements & activity of the affected person. Dorsal wrist ganglion which is most commonly encountered may be small when it is barely palpable but is usually highly symptomatic whereas if it is large it is often soft & only mildly symptomatic. Flexor sheath ganglion may present as a firm mass over the palmar aspect of the flexor sheath & is often confused with a bone exostosis due to its severe degree of firmness.

Differential Diagnosis- Ganglion may have to be differentiated from certain conditions. A few of them are-

(1) Fibroma.
(2) Lipoma.
(3) Neuroma.
(4) Hamartoma.
(5) Tenosynovitis.

Treatment- Homeopathy medicine improves re-absorption of fluid from the ganglion & thus cures the condition. In addition chance of recurrence is minimal. Favourable results are usually noticed within 3-6 months. Treatment should be followed till it subsides wholly; otherwise there is chance of recurrence. Calcarea Fluorica (Calc flour) 200 twice daily or Ruta Graveolens (Ruta) 200 twice daily may be used. Ruta may also be used as a local application over the site of ganglion formation. Other medicines which can also be used include Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox), Benzoicum acidum (, Thuya etc.

Prognosis- Ganglion may increase in size or may disappear spontaneously.

In short, ganglion is a painless, cystic swelling found near a joint or a tendon & is treated by Calcarea fluorica or Ruta.

But in every case, a doctor should be consulted.

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