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Ganglion Cyst

    Ganglion Cyst

    Ganglion cysts are fluid filled sacks that arise from the tissue (synovium) that lines the joints and tendons.  Ganglion cysts are very common in the wrist and can be found at any age.  Most often they appear for no known reason in the wrist area and are not felt to be related to “overuse”. 

    Ganglion cysts can also form in the joints of the fingers but are most often related to arthritic changes when seen at this location.

    Ganglion cysts are also frequently found on the lining of the flexor tendons and present as tender bumps on the palm of the hand.

    Ganglion cysts do not cause cancer, arthritis or any other more serious condition.  They frequently cause pain when pressure is applied to the area of the cyst.  It is important to obtain an Xray to be certain that the cyst is not arising because of underlying arthritis as this changes the treatment options.

    What is it?

    Ganglion cysts are an abnormal sack or cyst lined by the tissue (synovium) which creates the fluid that lubricates the joints and tendons.  The fluid contains protein and over time the protein accumulates in the sack resulting in a thick fluid that resembles clear jelly.

    Treatment options

    Treatment choices include doing nothing unless the cyst is resulting in discomfort.  Aspiration sucking out the fluid with a syringe) and injection of steroid medication can cause the cyst to resolve but this is rarely a successful treatment and most ganclion cyst rapidly reform following this treatment.  Surgical removal of ganglion cysts usually results in permanent resolution.