Search in�� ��for��
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
Birthing Center Tours
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Privacy Notice

Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Ganglion Cyst

(Cyst, Ganglion; Ganglion)



A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac. They are most common on the back of the wrist.

Ganglion Cyst

Nucleus factsheet image

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Causes    TOP

The cause is not known.


Risk Factors    TOP

Ganglion cysts are more common in young people and women. They are also more common in people who do activities that put stress on the wrist, such as gymnastics.


Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may be:

  • A soft bump, often on the back of the wrist
  • Pain at the site of the bump, but not always

Diagnosis    TOP

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. An exam will be done that focuses on your wrist. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.


Treatment    TOP

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

Cyst Removal

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.


Prevention    TOP

There are no methods to prevent this type of cyst. The cause is not known.


Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine


Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation


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.

Ganglia (ganglion cysts). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2018. Accessed September 30, 2019.

Ganglion cyst of the wrist and hand. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated March 2013. 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.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 9/30/2019

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers

Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000