Ganglion Cyst

What Are Ganglion Cysts?

These are cystic swellings commonly found around the wrist or at the base of the fingers. This is due to degenerative changes of the joint capsule resulting in a cyst formation at these joints.

Image of Ganglion associated with osteoarthritis of the finger joint

Image of Digital ganglion arising from the tendon sheath

Image of Volar wrist ganglion

Image of Dorsal wrist ganglion

What are the signs and symptoms?

These are swelling commonly seen over the dorsal or volar aspect of the wrist and sometimes at the base of the fingers. They are generally painless but pressure on these cysts may cause discomfort. These cysts appear to be very hard and patients do occasionally note that the size of these swellings change i.e. it may grow or even disappear completely. The important thing is that these cysts are NOT MALIGNANT but may be an early indication of a joint condition. Diagnosis of this condition is based on history and clinical examination. X-Rays maybe be indicated to assess the joints around the cyst.

What are the treatment options?

In majority of the cases, if the cyst is asymptomatic, no treatment is necessary. We do recommend surgical excision if the cysts cause pain or discomfort or are increasing in size.