Some ganglion cysts go away in time and may only need to be monitored. The goal is to ease any pain and reduce activity. Options may be:
- Medicine to ease pain and swelling
- A corticosteroid injection to shrink the cyst
- A splint to keep the wrist in place to allow it to rest
The cyst can be removed if it is painful or large and unsightly. This can be done with:
- A needle that drains fluid from the cyst
- Surgery to remove the cyst
It is possible for a cyst to return after it has been removed.
Note: At one time, people would smash this type of cyst with a heavy object. This is likely to cause more harm.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (Cyst, Ganglion; Ganglion)
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Common benign skin lesions. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/common-benign-skin-lesions . Updated February 5, 2018. Accessed September 30, 2019.
Ganglion cyst of the wrist and hand. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00006. Updated March 2013. Accessed September 30, 2019.
Ganglia (ganglion cysts). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/hand-disorders/ganglia. Updated October 2018. Accessed September 30, 2019.
Moreno-Ramírez D, Ruiz-Villaverde R, et al. process of care for patients with benign cysts and tumors: Consensus document of the Andalusian Regional Section of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV). Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2016 Jun;107(5):391-399.