Monday, November 03, 2008

What and What Not To Do With a Ganglion

I think I've got a small ganglion cyst on my wrist, which I can feel pressing on a nerve. It's an irritating little bugger. I read one way to get rid of them is to hit them with a big book. It makes them burst.

I tried that on myself last week. Even though I've got some big books--let me recommend the New Oxford Companion to Law in which I've written an entry on globalization and law and it runs to over 1300 pages--I couldn't swing it hard enough other than to cause me to jump out of my chair screaming blue murder.

So I enlisted the help of a friend who is very strong. He's a personal trainer. We put a cushion under my wrist and he hoisted my copy of the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe (prolific writer) over me.

"Turn away and take a deep breath," he said. Wham! God, it hurt.

It was still there. "Let's do it again," I suggested. Wham!! Missed the ganglion but hit the rest of me.

"Last try," I said. Wham!!! The hardest yet! "Shit!" I heard. My friend had hit both me and himself and was now bleeding profusely.

My wrist was numb and vaguely blue. I couldn't tell if the ganglion had burst or not. Sometimes I think it's OK, others it's the same as before.

I can't type very well today. And my friend took away several of my band aids for his injury.

Maybe there's a reason to leave it to the specialists. Wikepedia no longer recommends this way.
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3 comments:

John Flood said...

One of my colleagues commented:"This was funny and you're quite mad!" Could be true...

Martin George said...

If the ganglion is lying next to a nerve, it is actually a rather bad idea to use the 'Bible Bump' method. Not only is the chance of recurrence high, you may also adversely affect the nerve/nerve tissue if and when the ganglion ruptures.

Two possible options: a surgeon will, first, attempt to drain the ganglion. This will partially depend on its placement; is it nearer the surface of your skin, or further down? If the latter, it is probable that the only option left open will be to have it surgically removed.

A word of warning: I had a ganglion in the very centre of my left wrist, which was growing, and putting increasing pressure on the nerve. Removing it entailed the dislocation of all my fingers (so they could access the site), and two months of recuperation (my entire forearm turned black/purple eight weeks after the op.) For such a small thing, it resulted in a disproportionate amount of discomfort.

If it's near the surface, however, it's fairly trivial to remove.

Hope this helps!

John Flood said...

Thank you! The Bible bump ain't the best way to go for sure. I think this one is near the surface, so I'm hoping an easy removal.