Treating a Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist

Dr. Bert Perey, MD, FRCPC, Orthopedic Surgeon, discusses what treatment options are available for a ganglion cyst of the dorsal wrist.

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Dr. Bert Perey, MD, FRCPC, Orthopedic Surgeon, discusses what treatment options are available for a ganglion cyst of the dorsal wrist.
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Dr. Bert Perey, MD, FRCPC, Orthopedic Surgeon

Duration: 2:06

How are ganglion cyst treated?

For most patients, the treatment simply involves reassurance. Pain associated with a ganglion cyst is often intermittent, mild, and tolerable. Causing pain to the wrist with specific activities does not change the prognosis or the pathology, and causing pain of the ganglion cyst does not lead to any long-term damage or any other issues to the wrist itself. For many patients, the pain associated cyst is not always present and commonly subsides over time, even though the cyst can actually remain.

Temporarily, the patient can use a wrist brace to help alleviate some of the flare ups. Anti-inflammatories or Tylenol may be of some benefit to decrease the pain. Although the aspiration of the cyst may decrease the visible size of the cyst, it rarely resolves the situation on a permanent basis. Patients who are unable to cope with the symptoms or who failed to completely become asymptomatic, then surgery could be considered. This usually involves an excision of a portion of the dorsal wrist capsule to prevent recurrence. It's usually done in an ambulatory setting under local anaesthetic, just like going to the dentist. Unfortunately, many patients will still experience some stiffness

Recurrence rate following surgical excision of the cyst, as well as the surrounding capsule, is usually quite low, but recurrence is approximately 10%. Unfortunately, not all patients become asymptomatic following surgical excision of the cyst, and although the cyst is no longer visible, persistent discomfort with the push-up position may be present. Persistent issues may be due to deeper problems within the wrist.

Presenter: Dr. Bertrand Perey, Orthopaedic Surgeon, New Westminster, BC

Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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