Ganglion Cysts: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Options

Ganglion cyst on wristDo you have a lump growing on your hand/wrist that is causing you pain or numbness? If so, you may be suffering from a ganglion cyst!

What are Ganglion Cysts?

A ganglion is a benign, fluid-filled cyst that typically forms in the soft tissue of the wrist. Inside the cyst is a clear, jelly-like substance. Depending on the size, it can feel spongy or like a firm, rubbery lump.

Ganglion cysts can develop in any of the joints of the hand and wrist, however they are most commonly found on the back of the wrist.

What Causes Ganglion Cysts?

Unfortunately, the complete cause of ganglion cysts isn’t known. We know that they seem to occur when the tissue that surrounds a joint or a tendon bulges out of place. Ganglions are common in gymnasts, as they repeatedly apply a lot of stress to their wrists.

We also know that women are more likely than men to develop ganglions, in addition to those with Osteoarthritis, or who have sustained recent joint or tendon injuries. Adults over 20 are more at risk to develop ganglions, children seldom get them.

What Are the Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts?

Ganglion Cysts are not usually painful unless they grow large enough to rub against something. There may be pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation in the fingers if the ganglion presses on a nerve or if the cyst is tapped or bumped.

Even if they are not painful, ganglion cysts can cause concerns about one’s appearance.

What Treatment Options are Available for Ganglion Cysts?

There are a few options when it comes to treating basal joint arthritis, depending on how much pain the cyst is causing you. It’s important to note that none of the treatments are hitting the cyst with a heavy object or attempting to push it back in (now defunct home remedies that can end up causing even more harm).

See your doctor if you spot a noticeable lump or are experiencing pain in your hand/wrist. Your doctor will determine whether you need to treat the ganglion cyst which may include:

Time + Observation

Most ganglion cysts disappear over time, without receiving any treatment. If you do not have any symptoms, your doctor may instruct to keep a close eye on your ganglia and give it time.


Aspiration, or drawing fluid out of the ganglia with a needle, can help reduce the size of the cyst and ease your pain. The cyst typically recurs after aspiration, as this procedure does not address the root of the cyst.


Surgical treatment is also an option for those with severe ganglion cysts not relieved by nonsurgical methods or when cysts recur after aspiration. During ganglion cyst removal, your surgeon will remove the cyst as well as the root, which is it’s connection to the joint or tendon. The excision is an outpatient procedure with little risk and a 2-6 week full recovery. Even after surgical removal, there is still the possibility the cyst may recur.

What Should I Do If I Think I May Have a Ganglion Cyst?

If you believe you’re suffering from some of the symptoms of a ganglion cyst and you live in Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Lake George, or the greater Capital District, make an appointment at Dr. Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery today!

As an experienced wrist specialist, Dr. Juan Garcia has received specialized training from the Connecticut Combined Hand Surgery Fellowship. A recognized member of the local surgical community, he provides surgical services at Saratoga Hospital and Glens Falls Hospital. With extensive knowledge of hand and wrist pain and of the options available to treat it, Dr. Garcia is a valuable resource if you think you’re suffering from a ganglion cyst.

Check out the top 3 reasons you should choose Dr. Garcia for help with hand and wrist conditions!

Schedule A Ganglion Cyst Consultation with Dr. Garcia in Glens Falls, NY

Give Garcia Plastic & Hand Surgery a call at 518-793-0475 or contact us online to set up an appointment.

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