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Hand Problems - Ganglion Cysts


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Twenty-some years ago, I had a 3/4" ganglion cyst removed from the intercarpal joint spaces of my left wrist. In addition to being painful, the cyst had limited my range of motion to less than 30 degrees of flexion and extension. The surgery was uneventful, and I recovered pretty quickly.


Good luck,


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  • 1 month later...

I'm also a member of the ganglion club.

My type is one coming from the writs joints and not the tendons which is difficult to remove.

I'm a professional bluegrass banjo picker and this was really affecting my playing. I went to a ortho doc and he said that mine was set pretty deep in my writs and surgery would be pretty difficult. He gave me a prescription to Celebrex to reduce the swelling (didn't help). I've been living with it since then and the size really hasn't changed much. When I play I just bite the bullet and seem to have gotten over the pain.

I'm just now getting into playing the concertina and was sort of fearful of this being a problem. Maybe I should go get checked again.

How long was the recovery time from the surgery?


Sean Kelly

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  • 1 year later...

Several years ago I developed a pea-sized ganglion cyst on the underside of my right wrist from using the mouse and continually bumping my wrist up against a thick leather desk pad. It stayed that way for almost two years. I started drinking a lot of milk and eating more fruits and vegetables; I also stopped bumping my wrist up against the leather desk pad, and started using a soft cushion to rest my wrist over the desk pad -- and it slowly went away all by itself. There isn't even a trace of it left. My son had a much larger ganglion cyst (about an inch) on the top of his wrist for about a year, and it went away all by itself over a period of months, and left no trace.

Edited by greenferry
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The traditional rememdy for ganglions was to give them a hefty bash with the family Bible :o This would burst the cyst and resolve it pretty quickly, as long as you didn't accidentally break your wrist at the same time. However, if you don't remove the point of origin of the cyst capsule there's a chance of it recurring.

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if you don't remove the point of origin of the cyst capsule there's a chance of it recurring.

1. Ganglion cysts can recur no matter what the treatment, including surgery.

2. Avoid hitting the cyst with a book to bust it open -- you may have further complications to deal with.

3. Surgery is required in only a few cases, or for cosmetic reasons -- and it does not guarantee that the cyst won't come back.

4. Ganglion cysts commonly go away all by themselves if you leave them alone (and avoid or otherwise remedy the repetitive stressor that contributed to it in the first place).


Merck Manual:


"Most ganglia do not require treatment, and spontaneous regression is common. However, if the patient is disturbed by the cyst's appearance or if the ganglion is painful or tender, aspiration with or without injection of a corticosteroid suspension is effective in about 70% of patients with only a single aspiration. Only 12% ultimately need surgical excision. Traditional treatment of attempting to rupture the ganglion by hitting it with a book is not advisable owing to local injury without consistent benefit. If nonsurgical treatment fails, surgical excision may be indicated. Recurrence rates after surgical removal are between 6 and 50%."

Edited by greenferry
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