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At Slocum Center, several of our wrist surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of wrist ganglions. The Slocum Center has been performing orthopedic surgery for decades. That means your wrist procedure will be performed by a team whose experience is virtually unmatched in Eugene, the surrounding areas of Oregon, and throughout the Northwest.

Ganglion cysts are very common lumps within the hand and wrist that occur adjacent to joints or tendons. They can often be found at the top of the wrist, the palm side of the wrist, the base of the finger on the palm side, and the top of the end joint of the finger. The ganglion cyst is filled with clear fluid or gel.

Cause

The cause of these cysts is unknown. They may form in the presence of joint or tendon irritation or mechanical changes. These cysts may change in size or even disappear completely, and they may or may not be painful. Ganglion cysts contain a thick, clear, mucus-like fluid similar to the fluid found in the joint. They are not cancerous and do not spread to other areas.

There is no known specific cause for ganglions, but often there has been an injury before the appearance of the cyst. Women are more likely to be affected than men. Ganglia are common among gymnasts, who repeatedly apply stress to the wrist.

Treatment

In many cases, these cysts can simply be observed, especially if they are painless. If the cyst becomes painful, limits activity, or is cosmetically unacceptable, splints and anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to decrease pain. An aspiration (inserting a needle into the cyst) can remove fluid from and decompress the cyst.

If nonsurgical options do not provide relief or if the cyst recurs, surgical alternatives are available to remove the cyst and a portion of the joint capsule or tendon sheath. Surgical treatment is generally successful, although cysts may recur in some cases.