A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that usually develops in the wrist or hand, though some can occur in the ankles or feet. Ganglion cysts are noncancerous.
- Some ganglion cysts do not cause any symptoms
- Some cysts cause pain if they press on a nerve, and some can restrict movement, depending on their location.
- The cause of these cysts is unknown. One theory is that some kind of trauma causes the tissue of a joint to break down and form small cysts.
- Aspiration involves puncturing the cyst with a needle and draining the fluid. This causes the cyst to shrink and relieves pressure on the nerves. The cyst can grow back after aspiration.
- A wrist brace may be recommended to limit movement, since movement can cause the cyst to expand and cause more pain. Minimizing movement can allow the cyst to shrink, relieving pressure on the nerves.
- Removal of the cyst capsule or stalk is an outpatient procedure, performed under local or general anesthesia.
- See Post-op Ganglion Cyst Excision instructions for information on surgical recovery