Hand & Wrist: Ganglion Cysts


Ganglion cysts (GANG-glee-on) are very common benign fluid-filled lumps or masses that sometimes appear on the hand or wrist. They arise from a joint or the sheath surrounding a tendon. Fluid produced in the joint or tendon sheath enlarges the mass. There is no specific cause and there is no way to prevent them.

Ganglion cysts may be painful, especially with constant or strenuous use of the hand. They often get larger or smaller with use and may even disappear on their own. They can be soft or firm.

Ganglion cysts do not spread and are not life threatening. They occur in all age groups.

Causes of Ganglion Cysts

There is no specific cause and there is no way to prevent them.




Signs and symptoms of an Ganglion Cysts may include:
  • Pain with constant or strenuous use of the hand
  • Cysts often get larger or smaller with use
Splints

Splints may be used to decrease pain associated with activity.

Medication

Anti-inflammatory medications can help decrease associated with activity.

Aspiration

In some cases fluid can be removed from the mass.

Injection

In some cases the mass maybe injected with cortisone to help relieve symptoms.

Surgery

When non-surgical options fail or a ganglion cyst is painful or limits activity, surgery may be an option to remove (excise) the cyst. This may require removing part of the affected joint capsule or tendon sheath. There is a small chance a ganglion cyst may recur despite surgery. Surgery for ganglion cyst excision is an outpatient procedure performed under regional or local anesthesia.

This video is meant to provide a general description of wrist arthroscopy. The way this procedure is performed by orthopaedic surgeons at TRIA can vary from the description in the video.

Ganglion Cyst Excision Ganglion Cyst Excision Ganglion Cyst Excision Ganglion Cyst Excision Ganglion Cyst Excision Ganglion Cyst Excision Ganglion Cyst Excision

Quiste Ganglionar 

hand with ganglion cyst, TRIA Orthopaedic Center
Cross section of wrist showing stalk or root of ganglion
hand with ganglion cyst, TRIA Orthopaedic Center
Ganglion top side (dorsum) wrist
hand with ganglion cyst, TRIA Orthopaedic Center
Ganglion end joint of finger mucous cyst

Courtesy of American Society for Surgery of the Hand