Phone: 817-697-4038 Fax: 877-409-3962


If you suffer from severe pain caused by a Ganglion cyst, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What is a ganglion cyst?

Ganglion cysts represent a benign, non-cancerous condition. While not inherently dangerous, they can impede joint motion and cause discomfort. This condition can emerge around any joint in the body, as they are extensions of the joint capsule that have ballooned outside of the joint and are filled with joint fluid. Doctors frequently observe these cysts in the wrist. Smaller cysts, known as mucous cysts, may be present around the joints in the fingers.

What causes ganglion cysts?

Medical professionals do not know the exact cause of this condition. However, wrist ganglion cysts commonly occur in young people, whereas finger mucous cysts are frequently observed in older populations with arthritis in the finger joints.

What are the symptoms of a ganglion cyst?

You may have a small ganglion cyst without awareness, as this asymptomatic condition can remain unnoticed and non-painful. As they increase in size, they become noticeable and feel like a bouncy fluid-filled sac. This sac may fluctuate in size, and ganglion cysts can even burst spontaneously or reabsorb and vanish. If the ganglion cyst grows large enough to compress surrounding nerves or interfere with joint motion, it can become uncomfortable and bothersome.

Diagnosis and Treatment


Healthcare providers diagnose ganglion cysts through clinical examination. Occasionally, X-rays are taken to assess surrounding joints for arthritis. An MRI or ultrasound may be conducted to confirm the presence of a fluid-filled ganglion cyst if there is suspicion of a different mass. MRI can also aid in diagnosing a hidden or occult ganglion.


Since ganglion cysts pose no significant danger, healthcare providers may opt for watchful waiting. They may prescribe immobilization with a splint and anti-inflammatory medications. Healthcare providers can perform aspiration of the ganglion cyst, but this procedure leaves the stalk intact, connecting it to the joint, and the cyst often refills with joint fluid. The most definitive treatment for this condition is surgical excision. However, even after excision, ganglion cysts may recur. Healthcare providers can also excise mucous cysts, but they may recur, especially in the presence of an arthritic finger joint. In certain situations, particularly if painful arthritis is present, healthcare providers may deem finger joint fusion appropriate, which can prevent mucous cyst recurrence.




Further Reading:

AAOS- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons ganglion cyst OrthoInfo webpage.–conditions/ganglion-cyst-of-the-wrist-and-hand/

ASSH- American Society of Hand Surgery ganglion cyst Handcare webpage.


If you would like to speak to an orthopedic hand and wrist specialist in the DFW metroplex, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Tele-medicine appointments are also available.