Usually harmless, fluid filled cyst that occurs in various locations but most frequently on the back of the wrist. Can quickly appear, disappear and change size with increased activity and many do not require any treatment unless painful, interferes with function or has an unacceptable appearance.
Most ganglion’s form a visible lump however smaller ganglions can remain hidden under the skin (occult ganglions).
Ganglions may cause pain, tingling or muscle weakness if it puts pressure on the nerves in the region.
Non-surgical: If there are no symptoms the doctor may just monitor the ganglion. As activity often causes the ganglion to increase in size, a period of immobilisation may relieve symptoms and decrease the size of the ganglion. Another option is for the fluid to be drained from the ganglion using a needle in a procedure known as aspiration, although this does not eliminate the ganglion and it is likely that the ganglion will return.
Surgical: If your symptoms are not relieved by non-surgical management, surgery may be recommended. Surgery can remove (excise) the ganglion as well as part of the involved joint capsule or tendon sheath which is considered the ‘root’ of the ganglion. There is a small chance the ganglion will return following excision.
Excision is an uncomplicated surgery and you will be allowed to go home soon after the procedure. There may be some tenderness, discomfort and swelling following surgery. Normal activities are usually resumed two to six weeks following surgery.