Ganglion cysts

Ganglion cysts are benign, non-cancerous, tumours that frequently appear on the wrists, fingers, or ankles. On the wrist they can be dorsal or volar. Figure 1 and 2. They usually form around the joints or along tendons and are generally round or oval shaped.

Figure 1. Dorsal ganglion

Figure 2. Volar ganglion


Who’s affected by ganglions?

Ganglions can affect people of any age, dorsal ganglions are more frequent in women between 20 and 40 years of age and volar ganglions are most common between 50 and 70 years of age.

Do ganglions hurt?

They’re usually not painful but they can hurt if they’re compressing a nerve, and depending on their size, can also limit mobility. 

Why do ganglions happen?

It’s uncertain why ganglions form but they’re most commonly found near a joint or tendon.

How can I tell if I have a ganglion?

Ganglions are masses that appear either on the front or back of the wrist, they’re soft and not painful when touched, but can cause pain if they’re compressing a nerve. In order to confirm that you have a ganglion your doctor will use an ultrasound or resonance to rule out any other possible disease. Resonance may be quite useful for patients with wrist pain for no apparent reason and it can reveal a hidden ganglion.

How should a ganglion be treated?

– You should observe the ganglion and note any changes that may happen.
– The wrist should be immobilized if you feel pain. Some discomfort could happen at the start of the formation.
– It can be surgically removed.

When should the ganglion be removed? 

The ganglion should be operated on if pain is persistent or if it doesn’t disappear on its own.

What are the benefits of arthroscopically removing a ganglion?

With the development of minimally invasive techniques, wrist arthroscopy has become an excellent option because of the small incisions needed, there is less risk of damaging healthy tissue (ligaments, capsules, nerves), there are fewer adhesions, better scarring, less pain post surgery and a quick recovery period.


Figura 4. Remoción ganglioma

Figura 3. Remoción ganglioma dorsal volar



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