Ganglion cysts are benign lumps growing typically on the top of the wrist, though they may appear on the underside of the wrist or at the tip or base of a finger. A ganglion is a balloon like structure that grows out of a joint, formed by connective tissue.
Although the exact cause of ganglion cysts is unknown, they are more common in people applying frequent pressure to the wrist, such as gymnasts. They are more common in men than in women. Diagnosis usually involves both physical exam and imaging studies, such as MRIs and X-rays, to rule out other causes of growths in the wrist region.
The ganglion is typically filled with a thick fluid. Although are often noticeable and may be painful, they are not dangerous. There are several treatment options, and most are quite non-invasive. One option is to simply wait and see if the cyst goes away on its own. Your physician may also prescribe a wrist brace to reduce pain and pressure on the affected region. In some cases, draining the fluid from the cyst may help. When these options don’t work, a simple surgical procedure may be performed to removed the ganglion cyst, although it may still reappear in some cases.