Ganglion Cysts

Erin Nance, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Nance MD Hand Surgery

Erin Nance, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Hand and Upper Extremity Specialist located in Midtown East, New York, NY

If you have a lump or mass on the back of your wrist, it may be a ganglion cyst, the most common lump that forms in hands. At Nance MD Hand Surgery, located in Midtown East, New York, you can have your wrist examined by a board-certified orthopedic hand surgeon. Dr. Erin Nance can diagnose and treat ganglion cysts, restoring the appearance and function of your wrist. Call the office today or go online to book your initial consultation.

Ganglion Cysts Q & A

What does a ganglion cyst look like?

Ganglion cysts look like bumps that form on your hand, most frequently on the back of the wrist. Non-cancerous and often harmless, they can change size quickly, as well as appear and disappear. They can be round or oval, soft or hard.

Fluid-filled sacs, ganglion cysts rise out a joint, forming from the tissues surrounding your joint. The fluid found in the cysts is thick and slippery and has a composition much like your joint lubrication.

While they often form on the top of the wrist, ganglion cysts may also appear on the palm side of your wrist, the interior base of your finger, and the top finger joint.

What causes a ganglion cyst?

Ganglion cysts can sometimes form when your tendons become irritated or your joint experiences mechanical changes, although what spurs their formation remains unknown. Specific risk factors may make developing a ganglion cyst more likely, including being:

  • A woman
  • Between 15-40
  • A gymnast (due to repeated stress on the wrist)

If you form a ganglion cyst at the end finger joint, called a mucous cyst, it typically results from arthritis, and it’s more common in older women.

How do you treat a ganglion cyst?

The first step in treating a ganglion cyst involves confirming a diagnosis. Dr. Nance examines your lump and wrist and can often determine the type of cyst based on its location and appearance. In some cases, she may request X-rays.

If you do have a ganglion cyst, Dr. Nance discusses your goals. In many cases, these growths don’t require treatment and disappear on their own. They’re often painless, don’t spread, and tend to be harmless. If the appearance bothers you or the ganglion cysts interferes with movement or causes pain, she may recommend an aspiration.

An aspiration drains the cyst, removing the fluid and decompressing the rest of the cyst. Although this in-office procedure offers immediate results, the cyst often recurs.

In cases where the cyst reappears and causes discomfort, Dr. Nance may opt to remove your ganglion cyst surgically.

To learn more about ganglion cyst treatment, call the office or go online today to schedule your appointment at Nance MD Hand Surgery.