About Ganglion Cysts of the Wrist and Hand
Ganglion cysts are the most common mass or lump in the hand that rises out of the joint and surrounding tissues. They are not cancerous and, in most cases, are harmless. They occur in various locations, but most frequently develop on the back of the wrist. These fluid-filled cysts can quickly appear, disappear, and change size. They are most common in younger people between the ages of 15 and 40, and women are more likely to be affected than men. When a cyst puts pressure on the nerves that pass through the joint, it can cause pain, tingling and muscle weakness. Many ganglion cysts do not require treatment, however, if the cyst is painful, interferes with function, or has an unacceptable appearance, there are several treatment options available.
Ganglion Cysts Treatment at UT Health Austin
Even if your cyst is not causing any pain or discomfort an evaluation by a clinician is still recommended. Your evaluation will include a thorough history and physical examination, and may also include imaging studies such as x-rays or an MRI to rule out any other conditions. Initial treatment of ganglion cysts typically involved observation as ganglion cysts are not cancerous they may disappear in time. Any unusual changes that occur should be reported to your physician. Physical activity may case pressure on nerves causing pain, a combination of exercises, medication or a wrist brace or splint may be recommended to improve strength and reduce pain. If a ganglion cyst begins to cause a great deal of pain or severe limitations the fluid may be drained or surgery may be recommended. Throughout the course of your treatment, your care team will work with you to understand the risks and benefits and what you can expect throughout the process.
Care Team Approach
We have assembled a team of experts that includes orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, and social workers. This team enables us to provide the right care for the right patient at the right time. For some patients, nonsurgical interventions such as lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, medication and injections can help improve pain and function, while surgery may be the best course of action for others. Whatever your needs, our team is here to listen and work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.