Hand & Wrist Conditions

Ganglion cyst

What is a ganglion cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a herniation of the lining of a joint or tendon sheath. They are filled with fluid and can vary and fluctuate in size. The balloon shape cyst has a stalk to the underlying joint or tendon sheath.

Common locations of ganglion cysts are the front or the back of the wrist or close to the finger nail (mucoid cyst). Ganglion at the wrist is a common condition. It is not harmful or cancerous, although they may cause some people discomfort.

In some cases, imaging such as MRI may be needed to distinguish a ganglion cyst from other tumours of the hand.


Dr Paul van Minnen (Wrist ganglion)

Dr Paul van Minnen (Mucoid cyst of the finger)

Dr Nicholas Smith (Wrist Ganglion)

Dr Nicholas Smith (Mucoid cyst of the finger)

Treatment of Ganglion cysts

Small cysts that do not cause troublesome symptoms do not necessarily need to be treated.

Cysts can be drained or treated with a steroid injection. This gives, however, a significant chance of the cyst to recur.

The most definitive treatment of a ganglion cyst is surgical removal of the cyst and its stalk.