Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


There's a lump on the back of my wrist that seems to come and go. I looked on-line and found it could be a ganglion cyst. Is there anything else this lump could be?


The most common cause of a lump that disappears on the back of the wrist is a ganglion cyst. But it could be a tumor, bone spur, or even an infection. It's always best to have a doctor check to make sure it's not something more serious.

Sometimes, wrist ganglion cysts go away. In many cases they start to get bigger, not smaller. If it gets big enough, it can put pressure on the nearby tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves. The result may be pain, loss of motion, numbness and tingling, and swelling.

The best treatment is removal of the entire cyst. This includes the fluid inside, the outside covering, and the place where it attaches to the joint capsule called the stalk.

Marco Rizzo, MD, et al. Arthroscopic Resection in the Management of Dorsal Wrist Ganglions: Results with a Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up Period. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. January 2004. Vol. 29A. No. 1. Pp. 59-62.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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