A ganglion is a small, harmless cyst, or sac of fluid, that appears in the wrist. The majority of ganglion cysts develop on the back of the wrist but may also appear on the palm side of the wrist or at the base of a finger. They are often painless, but some may require treatment.
If you feel a bump on your wrist that appears suddenly and occasionally increases or decreases in size, it may be a ganglion cyst. It may cause the wrist to ache or feel tender and, depending on its location, may interfere with gripping objects.
The causes of ganglion cysts are unknown, but may develop in a previously injured wrist or as a result of wear and tear. They are typically harmless and usually do not grow worse over time. The majority of wrist ganglions go away by themselves, but may eventually reappear.
If one of the hand subspecialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group determines that you have a ganglion cyst after examining your wrist, continued observation may be the only necessary treatment.
If the cyst is painful, your physician may suggest needle aspiration to draw out the fluid, shrink the cyst and alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases where there is severe pain or the cyst is interfering with normal activity, surgery to remove the cyst may be recommended.