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Wrist Ganglion

Ganglion cysts are common and can quickly appear, disappear, and change size. They are typically harmless but can cause pain, be unsightly and interfere with doing daily activities.  An orthopaedic surgeon with WakeMed Orthopaedics can provide treatment for ganglion cysts.

What are ganglion cysts?

Ganglion cysts are most common in people – primarily women – between ages 15 and 40.  These younger patients often develop a ganglion cyst on their wrist.  Women between the ages of 40 and 70 may develop a ganglion cyst at an end finger joint in association with arthritis. 

A ganglion cyst is a sac-like swelling that forms on tissues called synovium that produce lubrication for the joints and tendons.  They are the most common cysts of the hand and are usually due to trauma at the site.  They can also be a precursor to or in association with arthritis.

Treating ganglion cysts

Your doctor may recommend that you just wait and watch your ganglion cyst because it may disappear on its own.  If it doesn’t and it is causing pain, numbness or tingling, an orthopaedic surgeon with WakeMed Orthopaedics may recommend a wrist brace or splint to help relieve symptoms.

Aspiration – draining the cyst with a needle – may also help.  However, aspiration does not remove the root of the ganglion cyst, which means the cyst can return.  An orthopaedic surgeon can surgically remove the cyst when necessary.  The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and you can usually resume your normal activities in 2 to 6 weeks. 

Learn What to Expect from Ganglion Cyst Removal