Orthopedics: Conditions

Ganglion Cysts

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sack that is thought to result from weakness of the joint capsule, ligaments, or tendon sheath in the hand and wrist. The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown but may be caused by arthritis, joint inflammation or trauma. Ganglion cysts most often develop at the center of the back of the wrist and on the palm side of the hand near the base of the fingers.

Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts

  • Firm bump under the skin on the wrist or hand
  • Cyst or bump that increases in size with activity and decreases when resting
  • Bump on wrist that is painful with wrist extension

Ganglion Cyst Treatments

Treatment for ganglion cysts varies because not all cysts require treatment. The cysts that are not painful and do not impede motion are simply monitored. The cysts may go away over time on their own. Painful cysts can be drained with a needle and injected with a steroid medication to decrease inflammation. If the cyst keeps returning, surgery may be recommended to remove the cyst via a surgical procedure known as Ganglion Cyst Removal. Our hand surgeons at Emory will discuss the best treatment option for you.

If you have questions, or to make an appointment, call: 404-778-3350.