My Ganglion Cyst – The Tetralogy | IT COULD BE WORSE BLOG

Lumpy and Bumpy – The Tetralogy

And now, my left hand.

After a single comes a sequel. After a sequel, comes a trilogy. I didn’t know what came after a trilogy, I had to Google it for myself. After a trilogy, a tetralogy.

A Tetralogy is a four-part series, and considering this ganglion cyst saga is never ending, a five-part series is called a pentalogy just so we know ahead of time.

As I have mentioned before in blog posts like Ganglionectomy, Lumpy and Bumpy, One Step Forward, I suffer from a ganglion cyst that won’t leave me be.

So, for a quick timeline, I have had:

  • Fall – Jan 2016
  • Hand Braces – July 2016
  • Steroid shots on both wrists – Sept 2016
  • Swelling on Left began – April 2017
  • MRI & X-ray on Left – June/July 2017
  • Aspirated Ganglion Cyst – Nov 13, 2017
  • Ganglionectomy # 1 – Jan 30, 2018
  • MRI – Left Wrist – Return of Lumpy – February 16, 2018
  • MRI – Left Wrist – March 22, 2018
  • Ganglionectomy #2 — April 24, 2018
  • MRI – Left Wrist – Return of Lumpy – September 10, 2018
  • Ganglionectomy #3 – October 29, 2018
  • Return of Lumpy & Bumpy – January 2019
  • MRI on Left – June 29, 2019
  • X-Rays on Right – TBD
I had three hand surgeries last year on a recurrent, recurrent, recurrent ganglion cyst and his friends. Prior to those, I had tried steroid injections, occupational therapy, wearing multiple different braces over the course of 2 1/2 years. I did paraffin treatments and stretching exercises. We drained the ganglion cysts, too, only to have them return.

I fell on my hands in January of 2016 and ended up tearing a ligament in my left hand. This tear went unnoticed, I thought nothing of the bruising and never had it checked. We didn’t even know any damage had happened until my wrist started to cause some pain with movement and we began the basics of treatment.

Lumpy, the Ganglion Cyst, A Trilogy - It Could Be Worse - Mary Horsley
I had my first ganglion cyst, named Lumpy, appear in April 2016 and I began wearing a brace in July for basic joint pains and tendonitis. We tried many other methods that failed to help the pain in the following months but this cyst is relentless. I had seen occupational therapy, primary care, MSK, as well as the plastics and general surgery clinics, all for these hands.
I had a ganglion cyst growing in my wrist, and I had the ganglion cyst surgically removed for the first time in January 2018. We had just previously drained the cyst and it immediately returned, which led us on our surgery path for removal. See Ganglionectomy.
The ganglion cyst returned within a month after surgery, doubled in size. I had it surgically removed for the second time in April – Lumpy, The Sequel. See Lumpy, The Ganglion Cyst.
Come October, two more ganglion cysts had appeared – Lumpy and Bumpy, The Trilogy. Those were removed just days before Halloween. Because there were two cysts, this incision was larger than the two prior surgery incisions and this surgery took a little longer to heal from. I am sure repeated surgeries in the same spot over and over is not doing my wrist any good. See One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.
Two months later, in January 2019, another produced itself. Come to find out in an MRI, there are multiple cysts again this time – Lumpy and Bumpy, The Tetralogy. This would be the fifth and sixth cyst on my left hand and my fourth surgery if we go that route, again.
I was referred to a hand specialist in February after the return of my cyst this year. I was given another brace to wear and the MRI was scheduled and already completed now. I fell asleep during this scan and had to repeat a few of the images because I moved in my sleep.

Note that I was under the impression I would only be in the brace for 3 months but I do not have another appointment with him until August, around 6 months in a brace this time.

The doctor also mentioned the thinned skin around my incision site and wrist. Because of the previous steroid shots and surgery trauma, wearing a brace and losing muscle, the skin is thin and the fatty tissue around it is nonexistent. The specialist even mentioned fat injections for the wrist and incising the cyst vertically instead of horizontally this time, but we will discuss that after he reviews my MRI imaging.

My Ganglion Cyst - The Tetralogy | IT COULD BE WORSE BLOG
Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Ganglionectomy Surgery # 3 – Ganglionectomy – Surgery #2 Ganglionectomy Surgery #1 – Initial Fall Bruising 2016
Shown Above, Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

Ganglionectomy Surgery # 3

Ganglionectomy Surgery #2

Ganglionectomy Surgery #1

Initial Fall Bruising 2016

For surgery #3, there are seven stitches instead of the usual four, like in surgery #1 and surgery #2. This surgery was by far my worst and most painful.

The cysts sit on/by nerves and cause pain, my thumb is forever with pins-and-needles, and they are growing in size. At first, I could not see more than one cyst, but my others are growing and now visible, too. My hidden cyst is now larger than my original and they are growing in size pretty fast. So fast, that I have even called the VA to see if my surgeon wanted new imaging before our meeting in August but he is aware of the cyst, so we are good with the original images.
My Ganglion Cyst - The Tetralogy | IT COULD BE WORSE BLOG

During my time with these hand issues, the appointments kind of went from wrist to wrist, depending on which was causing the most problems at the time.

Now, my right wrist. My right wrist was the original reason I ever scheduled with primary care and got referrals to occupational therapy and the musculoskeletal clinics.
My right wrist was the original reason I ever scheduled with primary care and got referrals to occupational therapy and the musculoskeletal clinics. I’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, as I always fail the Finkelstein test no matter how many times they ask me to do it, which is at every appointment.

Tendonitis and carpal tunnel perhaps, however, once the ganglion cysts appeared, this right-hand pain got put on the back burner and with time, it has grown to be my strong wrist (a la Scary Movie line ‘Lemme use my strong hand’).

With time, this hand has somewhat gained strength and has not necessarily caused issues past the steroid injections. Come this week, however, some of the original pains have begun again, causing severe pain in the “snuff box” area of my right wrist. Turning doorknobs, picking up coffee, any movement that extends my wrist sends pain up my arm.

So, in addition to seeing this specialist to discuss the MRI and Lumpy and Bumpy on my left wrist, I have x-rays scheduled for my right to be discussed with him, too. At first, when I scheduled this new addition, I was laughing at myself at having to see two different doctors for two different hands. This is ridiculous.

My Ganglion Cyst - The Tetralogy | IT COULD BE WORSE BLOG
I am assuming that when I have this appointment, surgery #4 on my left wrist will be scheduled, and I have no idea about the right. So, now, I am currently in a brace for both wrists, which is something to look at, I tell ya. You don’t even realize how much you need or use your hands until both of them are wonky.
My Ganglion Cyst - The Tetralogy | IT COULD BE WORSE BLOG
Let’s hope this is the last surgery I will have to have for this damn left wrist and the ganglion cysts. I have read about someone having one removed seven times! I have had enough already, I cannot imagine seven times!

Let’s hope I do not need surgery on the right wrist.

Or else, cut them both off at the elbow and I’ll be alright.

We shall see.

It Could Be Worse.

My Ganglion Cyst - The Tetralogy | IT COULD BE WORSE BLOG
I know I say it every time, that I’ll post more often, no more hiatuses, and I do try, but things happen. Life happens.

Until next time, for me, It Could Be Worse.


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And as always, any information you’d like to offer up about Stelara or any of my current struggles and/or issues, I have open ears and I’ll happily take any tips you have to offer!


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IBD News Today Column:

Welcome to ‘It Could Be Worse’ – A Column by Mary Horsley————————————————————————–

Previous Posts on It Could Be Worse:


Lumpy, The Ganglion Cyst

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

My Crohn’s Disease Journey To Diagnosis

My Wonky Ribs and Neurectomy

Two Months Time

Stelara Self-Injection #2 & Rib Pain

Videos & Published Work

Crohn’s Disease Essentials and Emergency Kits

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