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Doctors Report Rare Case of Carpometacarpal Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cysts are benign masses often filled with fluid. They can grow large enough to press on nerves and get tangled in tendons causing painful symptoms. Nerve involvement can cause numbness and tingling. Ganglia are common in the wrist where the bones of the forearm meet the first row of wrist (carpal) bones.

In this case report, a 29-year old woman was diagnosed with a ganglion cyst of the carpometacarpal joint. Only two other cases have been reported. This is where the second row of carpal bones meets the first row of finger (metacarpal) bones. The diagnosis was made using MRIs and confirmed during surgery to remove it.

Surgery isn't always needed for ganglia. The location of this ganglion was such that it pushed against the median nerve in the carpal tunnel causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms of median nerve compression are called median neuropathy.

Removing the entire cyst and its attachments took care of the patient's symptoms and made sure it didn't come back. The patient was still symptom-free at the one-year follow-up visit.

Todd C. Battaglia, MD, MS, et al. A Carpometacarpal Joint Ganglion Cyst Causing Median Neuropathy. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. April 2006. Vol. 35. No. 4. Pp. 186-188.


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