Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wrist FAQ


I have had some ganglion cysts on my wrist for a while and they're looking really ugly. What types of treatments are available other than surgery?


Surgery is often done to remove the cysts, but that doesn't always guarantee that they won't come back. Also, some people avoid surgery because they'd rather not have the scarring that they fear may result. Because of this, some doctors will try nonsurgical methods first. This usually involves splinting the joint to reduce movement and limit the irritation to the cyst. It's hoped that this will reduce the inflammation and the cyst will go away. Many cysts end up going away on their own, in fact. Other treatments involve inserting a needle into the cyst and pulling out the fluid, and/or injecting a steroid to help reduce the inflammation. Scott G. Edwards, MD, and John A. Johansen, MD. Prospective Outcomes and Associations of Wrist Ganglion Cysts Resected Arthroscopically. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. March 2009. Vol. 34. No 3. Pp. 395-400.

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