Ganglion Cyst

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Ganglion cyst treatment is often unnecessary. These harmless bumps that form on the back of the hand where it meets the wrist usually cause no pain. Ganglion cysts can be as large as an inch in diameter. If the ganglion cyst grows or prevents normal range of motion, surgical treatment may be recommended.

Ganglion cysts resemble a balloon on a stick that grows from deep in the joint. The balloon part is full of thick fluid, and is attached to the stick or root in the joint. No one knows exactly why ganglion cysts form, but it’s possible they stem from injury or irritation of the joint or tendon.

Ganglion cysts have been called “Bible bumps” based on an antiquated home remedy using a large book to break the cyst. This approach risks soft tissue damage, additional pain and bruising.

Ganglion cysts most often appear on the top of the wrist near the back of the hand, but can develop anywhere, including the palm and in the fingers near a joint. The lump can be round or oval and rarely causes pain unless it develops near a nerve. In that case there can be pain, tingling or numbness.

Ganglion cysts often will go away on their own. If the cyst is interfering with activities, the specialists at Norton Louisville Arm & Hand have the experience and expertise to treat the cyst safely.

Ganglion Cyst Treatment

If a ganglion cyst becomes painful, limits activity or causes other issues, treatment is available, including:

  • Splints and anti-inflammatory medication can decrease pain.
  • A provider uses a needle to remove fluid (aspiration) from the cyst and decompress it. Recurrence of the cyst is common after aspiration since the root remains connected to the joint.
  • A surgeon removes the cyst wall, fluid and root. The surgery may include removal of a portion of the joint capsule or tendon sheath.

Why Choose Norton Louisville Arm & Hand

  • Nine board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians at four locations in Louisville provide comprehensive treatment — often without surgery.
  • Our providers offer treatments for common conditions such as carpal tunnel, arthritis, ganglion cyst, mallet finger, trigger finger, numbness in the hands and wrists, and fractures of the fingers, hand, wrist and elbow.
  • Norton Louisville Arm & Hand specialists include national leaders in treating the unique needs of growing children.
  • Get an appointment within a week and sometimes the same day.
  • Medicare, Medicaid, workers’ compensation and most major commercial insurance plans accepted.
  • Book appointments, get alerts when an earlier appointment becomes available, communicate with your medical provider, refill prescriptions and more through your free Norton MyChart account.

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