Ganglion cysts are very common lumps within the hand and wrist that occur adjacent to joints or tendons. The most common locations are the top of the wrist, the palm side of the wrist, the base of the finger on the palm side, and the top of the end joint of the finger. The ganglion cyst often resembles a water balloon on a stalk, and is filled with clear fluid gel.
The cause of these cysts is unknown although they may form in the presence of joint or tendon irritation or mechanical changes. They occur in patients of all ages.
These cysts may change in size or even disappear completely, and they may or may not be painful. These cysts are not cancerous and will not spread to other areas.
The diagnosis is usually based on the location of the lump and its appearance. They are usually oval or round and may be soft or very firm. Cysts at the base of the finger on the palm side are typically very firm, pea sized nodules that are tender to applied pressure, such as when gripping.
45 – 60min
May last a long time
Treatment of Ganglion
Treatment can often be non-surgical. In many cases, these cysts can simply be observed, especially if they are painless. If the cyst becomes painful, limits activity, or is otherwise unacceptable, several treatment options are available. The use of splints and anti-inflammatory medication can be prescribed in order to decrease pain associated with activities.
An aspiration can be performed to remove the fluid from the cyst and decompress it. Aspiration is a very simple procedure. If non-surgical options fail to provide relief or if the cyst recurs, surgical alternatives are available. Surgery involves removing the cyst along with a portion of the joint capsule or tendon sheath.