Still Got a Ganglion – Hear it Roar!


I had an appointment at the local hospital today. I was all excited, and thought for sure I’d be coming home with a groovy new scar. Sadly, I was disappointed. Instead, I first had an assessment by a fun Indian doctor (we so had the craic) and he sent me off for X-rays.

    Sweet! I LOVE X-rays! 

    The pen tip on the right is pointing at the cyst, which doesn’t show up in an X-ray. I can kinda see it? Maybe.

    I was wondering about the round density next to the first joint of my thumb, and my dad asked about it too, so off to the ‘net I went. It is a sesamoid bone (named because they are usually the shape of a sesame seed – I’ll never forget that name, now) and perfectly normal, if slightly mysterious: ‘Sesamoid bones are small more or less rounded masses embedded in certain tendons and usually related to joint surfaces. Their functions probably are to modify pressure, to diminish friction, and occasionally to alter the direction of a muscle pull.’ [emphasis mine, source is courtesy of]

    This is why I love seeing my innards! So educational. 

    Side view! I am probably strange, but I think these are rather pretty. And fascinating as hell. It’s astounding that this – my right hand, responsible for the majority of the things I do every day – looks so fragile. Check out the thickness of my ulna and radius in each picture (long arm bones, just in case you aren’t a nerd like me). My thumb bone is thicker than both of them in the side view. That is crazy. From the top view, they are nearly parity with the thickness-win going to the radius. So surprising I’ve never broken any bones but my pinkie toes (not for lack of trying).

    I also like that the veins I can see through the skin on my thumb show up here, too. And all the tendons that must be doing one hell of a job because those bones are…bony.

    Anyhoo, after my irradiation the main doctor who runs the clinic came in. She had a trio of young women trailing behind her, and asked if they could observe. Well, sure! Doc asked a few questions, poked at my still-unnamed cyst (because not one of you gave me a name last time I talked about it, for shame), and said they would schedule me for surgery. Under general anesthetic. I whined (I’ll admit it) when she was leaving; “But…I want to see!”

    Hope you enjoyed these pics as much as I did! Thanks to Dr M for letting me take shots of the X-rays with my phone, changing the operation directive from general to local because I want to see, having a laugh with me, and being able to pronounce my whole damn name with no hesitation (that is huge, let me tell ya). He’s a good doctor, I hope he goes good places.

    Now let’s see how long it takes to get to the next level! October 20, 2015 and counting. 

    26 responses »

    1. Oh, I’m so with you on this one. I love a good X-ray, despite have had waaaay more than my fair share (cancer does that….). My best one ever is where I had an x-ray to show a cracked bone in my hand and they discovered a benign bone tumour in my ring finger joint where there was just a tiny little thin skin of bone left holding the finger together. Happily I kept the finger, but sadly I wasn’t allowed to watch the part where they punched some bone out of my wrist to mush up and put into the joint where they’d scraped the muck out…

      • Holy crap, that is both awesome and HOLY SHIT at the same time. Did you even know your finger was that damaged? Glad the caught it – I very much wonder here, if anyone but me looks at the whole picture when they are only meant to look at one part.

        • I had not the smallest idea. There was nothing to tell you on the outside, but apparently the bone was wafer thin in some places, and one hard knock would have disintegrated the joint. I had the weirdest plaster cast in the universe; they wanted the metacarpal fracture mended before they tackled the finger, but they couldn’t risk damage to the finger, so I had this bizarre sort of shelf extension to the cast with the last two fingers strapped inside it. I looked like someone auditioning for a Cyberman role in Dr Who. Getting dressed was tricky…

    2. Uck! Surgery…what a bust….but we do have to take care of that hand for you….you’ve alot of things to do with that hand in future, I’m sure. Hoping for a good result and an easy time of it for you!

    3. Oh! Sesamoid bones are wonderful! You know your kneecap is a sesamoid bone, right? And that you have a couple under your big toe joint on each side? They’re just nature’s block and tackle mechanisms augmenting traction at major leverage junctions. When life inflicts major leverage at uncommon junctions they arise of themselves.

      I regret that no name has yet been proposed for your ganglion cyst. May I suggest Aethelric?

      • I did see that about the knee! It also seems the wee ones don’t form until you are older? I’ll have to look at your post later, it’s Oirish Tirsday.
        I’m afraid another person has come up with a name I like better! Leo – because it’s a gangLION. And I’m a Leo supposedly, whatever crap that means really. Fuck it, I like cats.

      • I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole post…just looking at the xrays and then reading what you wrote is so interesting. Now I hope you get resolution to the cyst in a very speedy manner.


    4. Very elegant bones I must say, and quite fascinating! Let us know when you have surgery – hope that goes well. You could call your cyst ‘Leo’ since it’s it’s a gang-LION! 🙂

    5. You know, I seem to remember somewhere reading/hearing they used to drop very large, heavy books onto these things. I only know this because my mother used to get them and I too have a small one I ignore completely. I happen to have far too many of these pics, mostly of my sweet spine and pelvis. It is fascinating if you don’t bother to think about what’s inevitable in the first place. 😉

    6. I’ve seen so many people with their Xrays of late, I really wish I’d got mine of my knee at the time, although I doubt it would have showed much, my kneecap was already in my thigh at that stage lol

      Names huh, are we doing both first and last names? Cysta Blista or Cyst Itis 🙂 lol

    Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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