Ganglion cyst – Ganglion

What is a Ganglion cyst – Ganglion?


Ganglion cyst – Ganglion is the most common benign clinical entity that relates to the area of the wrist, on its dorsal or palmar surface.

This cyst contains a transparent gel, derived from:

  • either through the wrist bone joints
  • or the tendon sheaths of the hand


The size of the cyst can change over time, depending on the activity of the patient (manual work).

It may also be observed in other parts, such as:

  • the fingers of the hand
  • the foot
  • the knee


Ganglion cyst – Ganglion – Etiology

The etiology of the disease has not been fully elucidated to date.

It is more common in people with manual activity but it can also be observed in individuals who do not strain their upper extremities.

In patients suffering from autoimmune diseases such as:

rheumatoid arthritis

gouty arthritis


the incidence rates of ganglion are higher than average.


Ganglion cyst – Ganglion – Clinical Picture

The patient’s concerns suffering from a ganglion cyst are mainly three:

  • Whetherthe cyst can be linked to malignancy
  • The pain and perhaps the numbness in the wrist and hand
  • The aesthetic factor, especially in women, when the ganglion is large

Ganglion is not necessarily a painful condition.

Pain in the area may occur during palpation and pressure, but this happens especially when there is an anatomical affinity with nerve strains.


Maintenance therapy usually involves resting the hand and avoiding weight lifting for a period of 20-40 days.

This may limit the size of the cyst.

Applying a special splint can help to reduce the size of the ganglion because it substantially restricts the activity of the wrist joint, but without effectively curing the problem.

The aspiration of the ganglion cyst gel using a needle may reduce the size of the ganglion but its recrudescence to previous levels is rapid so it does not constitute an official therapy.


Surgical Treatment


The microsurgical operation is performed under general anesthesia or anesthesia of the upper limb that hosts the cyst.

The procedure lasts no more than 30-40 minutes and the patient returns home on the same day with no need of hospitalization.

We avoid local anesthesia because recurrence rates are high in the case of inadequate ganglion removal.

Postoperatively there should be a hand rest period of about 20 days. It can take up to 30 days for manual workers.

Nowadays, the improved surgical techniques – microsurgery and the use of optical amplifiers – microscope (surgical loops) definitely treats this common problem.


Caption: Ganglion on the palm surface of the wrist. The anatomical peculiarity of the area is that the radial artery (one of the two major arteries of the extremity) is located below and adjacent to the ganglion cyst.