Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac. It is usually attached to the membrane that surrounds a tendon or a joint lining. Ganglion cysts usually appear on the back of the wrist. They may also be on the underside of the wrist, the hand, the fingers, or the feet. Ganglion cysts are not cancerous.

  • Causes

    The cause of ganglion cysts is not known.

  • Definition

    A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac. It is usually attached to the membrane that surrounds a tendon or a joint lining. Ganglion cysts usually appear on the back of the wrist. They may also be on the underside of the wrist, the hand, the fingers, or the feet. Ganglion cysts are not cancerous.

    Ganglion Cyst
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  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Most ganglion cysts are easily diagnosed based on the location and appearance.

    If the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor may perform imaging studies or perform a biopsy to help confirm the diagnosis.

  • Prevention

    There are no current guidelines for preventing ganglion cysts.

  • Risk Factors

    Ganglion cysts are more common in young people and women. Participating in sports that put a lot of repeated stress on wrists increases your chance of developing a ganglion cyst.

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms can include:

    • A soft bump, usually on the back of the wrist
    • Pain or tenderness at the site of the bump, but they do not always result in pain

  • Treatment

    Some ganglion cysts go away without treatment. If the cyst is very tender or unsightly, you may want treatment. Even with treatment, ganglion cysts can return.

    Note:
    Do not attempt to smash the cyst with a heavy object, a traditional home remedy. This is unlikely to get rid of the cyst, but it is likely to cause injury.

    Treatments include: