Ganglions are cysts that form at a joint or on a tendon. The most common locations for ganglions are the front of the wrist, back of the wrist, and the joints at the tips of the fingers (also called mucous cyst). Ganglion cysts are usually filled with a clear, jelly-like fluid. They tend to get bigger in size depending on activity level. Ganglion cysts are usually not painful, but can cause soreness or irritation to the surrounding tissues as they get bigger;
Ganglion cysts are diagnosed in the office after thorough discussion and physical exam with your orthopedic surgeon. X-rays are usually taken to evaluate for arthritis or injury to the nearby joint. MRI is occasionally ordered if it is unclear on exam whether the bump is a cyst or a solid mass.
The surgery involves an incision over the cyst with removal of the entire cyst and the stalk that attaches it to the joint. If the cause of the cyst is an injury or arthritis, there may be additional procedures done to repair the problem and help reduce the chance of recurrence.
In most cases, you begin moving and using the hand immediately after excision. Heavy lifting should be avoided for about 2-4 weeks. Hand therapy may be needed to help with range of motion or swelling.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider