Ganglion Cysts

Unwanted fluid filled sacs

Last modified: December 21, 2011

Beatrice Woods
Licensed Practical Nurse

Ganglion Cysts

Many people have developed unsightly lumps or swelling around their joints and tendons at one time or another in their lives. These noncancerous fluid filled sacs are called ganglion cysts.  Ganglion cysts were once called bible cysts. When the cysts appeared they were hit with a book usually a bible in an attempt to flatten the swollen area.   Ganglion Cysts are typically considered an orthopedic concern and can be treated by an experienced orthopedic doctor.

Causes of Ganglion Cysts

A clear cause as to why and how ganglion cysts are formed is not known but ganglion cysts are believed to be the result of an over accumulation of synovial fluid surrounding the joints and tendon. Ganglion cysts commonly develop around the wrist or hand but they can develop near the joints or tendons of fingers, knee and feet.

Diagnosing Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cyst diagnosis must be made by an orthopedist. It is crucial that any newly developed lumps or swelling around joints and tendons be examined by an orthopaedic for proper diagnosis and treatment.  

Ganglion Cyst Treatment

Treatment for ganglion cyst will differ with every person. Ganglion cyst may appear over time or out of nowhere. Usually if the nodule is painless, once the area is cleared by a orthopedist, observation of the ganglion cysts is the usual treatment. 

Many ganglion cysts can increase in size causing decreased joint mobility and pain requiring medical intervention.   Medical treatment may include having the ganglion cyst fluid removed, this procedure is called aspiration or having the cyst surgically removed.

Aspiration of a ganglion cyst is done at the physician’s office using a local anesthetic for pain. Surgical excision of a ganglion cyst is performed using a regional or local anesthesia depending on the location of the ganglion cyst.

After aspiration or surgical excision of a ganglion cyst the area is cleaned and a bandage is applied to the area. A splint or sling maybe used after ganglion cyst removal to the upper extremities. Aspiration and surgical excision of ganglion cysts are done as outpatient surgeries.

Recovery Time for Ganglion Cyst

Recovery and rehabilitation will vary from patient to patient depending on the location type of procedure performed. Elevation of the affected extremity is important to reduce pain and swelling.

Cost of treatment for Ganglion Cyst

Various entities will affect the cost of ganglion cyst treatment including where the procedure is performed, type of insurance and the location of the treatment.

It's best to contact a doctor who can provide a complete examination and cost assessment to determine if you are a candidate for Ganglion Cyst Removal.

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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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