Ganglion Cyst

A Ganglion Cyst is a non-cancerous lump that commonly develops along the joints or tendons of the wrists or hands, though they can also appear on ankles and feet. These cysts are filled with a jelly-like fluid and can vary in size, sometimes becoming more prominent with repetitive joint movement.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, but they are thought to arise from a flaw in the joint capsule or tendon sheath that allows the joint tissue to bulge out. Factors that may increase the risk of developing a ganglion cyst include joint or tendon injury, and certain occupations or activities that involve repetitive wrist motions.


Ganglion cysts are typically characterized by a visible lump, and while they are often painless, they can cause discomfort, pain, or tingling when pressing on a nerve. In some cases, the cyst can interfere with joint movement.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis usually involves a physical examination, and the doctor may use light to determine if the cyst is fluid-filled. Imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI can help rule out other conditions. Many ganglion cysts require no treatment and may disappear on their own. If the cyst causes pain or interferes with joint movement, treatment options include aspiration (draining the fluid with a needle), steroid injections to reduce swelling, or surgery to remove the cyst.

Recovery and Prevention

Post-treatment recovery varies; cysts may recur, especially if the entire cyst and its stalk are not completely removed. There are no known preventive measures due to the unclear causes of ganglion cysts.

Ganglion Cysts are generally benign and often asymptomatic, but can sometimes cause discomfort or hinder joint mobility, requiring medical intervention.