A ganglion cyst is a small bump or mass that develops near the wrist’s joints and tendons. They can also occur in the finger joints and at the base of the thumb. Ganglion cysts are typically filled with thick, clear fluid and are connected to a joint or tendon sheath (tissues which normally produce fluid). Ganglion cysts are not cancerous and cannot spread to other areas of the body.
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- Oval or round shape
- Tenderness to pressure
- Smaller than a pea in size
It’s unknown what exactly causes ganglion cysts, but they can occur in people of all ages. Ganglion cysts can sometimes occur with other conditions like arthritis, injury, or joint and tendon irritation. Ganglion cysts can sometimes be confused with other types of cysts that occur in the fingers or wrist, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from an orthopedic hand surgeon.
In some cases, ganglion cysts can go away on their own and simply need to be monitored by an orthopedic hand specialist. However, if it begins to limit your activity or becomes painful, it can be treated non-surgically at our office. This includes removing the fluid from the cyst using a syringe. In other cases, surgery can be performed to remove the whole cyst, including the walls, fluid, and stalk. This might include removal of some of the joint capsule or tendon sheath, but surgical treatment is usually the most successful route for relieving symptoms.
Since it’s still not well understood what causes ganglion cysts, there’s some chance that a cyst can come back after treatment. Fortunately, a recurring cyst can simply be removed or drained again without much impact. Your orthopedic hand surgeon can help you understand your treatment options and what to expect after ganglion cyst surgery or treatment.
At the Regional Hand Center in Fresno, CA, our orthopedic hand surgeons can help you explore your treatment options and achieve relief. To schedule an appointment, contact our office by calling or filling out our online contact form.
Whether you are planning a procedure or you are interested in options for treatment, the professional and caring Regional Hand Center team makes it easy to find the answers you need. For an appointment or answers to your questions, call (559) 322-HAND.View All
Randi A. Galli, MD, FACS
Dr. Randi Galli is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. A member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society that comprises the top ten percent of medical students, Dr. Galli received his Medical Degree from Tulane University School…Learn More
Ricardo Avena, MD, FACS
Dr. Ricardo Avena is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Born and raised in Mexico City, Dr. Avena attended medical school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Upon graduation, Dr. Avena received his certification from the Educational…Learn More
Isobel Santos, MD
Dr. Santos attended the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A in Molecular and Cell Biology with a focus on Cell and Developmental Biology. She then received her medical degree at University of Vermont College of Medicine where she was nominated to be a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha…Learn More