Ganglion Cyst

Hand and Microsurgery Associates

Hand Surgery & Orthopedic Surgery located in Columbus, OH
If you have a round, fluid-filled lump on your hand or wrist, it might be a ganglion cyst. The team of board-certified orthopedic hand surgeons at Hand and Microsurgery Associates in Columbus, Ohio, diagnoses and treats these typically harmless cysts. If you have a ganglion cyst and it’s causing pain, tingling, or other disruptive symptoms in your hand, call Hand and Microsurgery Associates today.

Ganglion Cyst Q & A

What is a ganglion cyst?
Ganglion cysts are round lumps that usually form on the tendons or joints in your hands or wrists. You could also develop a ganglion cyst on your foot or ankle. They extend out of your joints like balloons on stalks and range in size from as small as a pea to the size of a golf ball or even larger. They’re often found on:

  • The base of fingers
  • The end joints of fingers
  • Top and underside of the wrist

The cysts are filled with a fluid similar to the lubricant that lines your joints and helps your bones glide smoothly against each other when you extend or flex a joint.

What causes ganglion cysts?
Medical researchers haven’t identified a specific cause for ganglion cysts. However, they’re common in people who put repetitive stress on their fingers, hands, and wrists. For example, gymnasts often develop the cysts because of the intense pressure they put on their wrists. You might also develop a ganglion cyst as a symptom of arthritis in your finger joints.
When should I talk to a doctor about a ganglion cyst?
Most of the time, ganglion cysts aren’t painful and go away on their own with rest. However, if your cyst presses on a nerve, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. If you have a ganglion cyst along with pain or other symptoms of nerve compression, make an appointment at Hand and Microsurgery Associates. When left untreated, nerve compression can lead to nerve damage.
How are ganglion cysts treated?
The team at Hand and Microsurgery Associates begins with an exam and imaging studies like X-rays and MRIs to confirm your diagnosis. Then, depending on your needs, they offer personalized treatment plans.

In many cases, the team takes a wait-and-see approach, especially if the cyst isn’t causing any disruptive symptoms. They might recommend a splint or brace to immobilize your wrist and enforce rest.

If the ganglion cyst is causing pain, your physician might recommend an aspiration treatment to drain the cyst as well as rest. In rare cases, when nonsurgical treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, you might need surgery to remove the cyst.

If you’re concerned about a lump on your hand or wrist, call Hand and Microsurgery Associates today to schedule a consultation.