Hand Health Resources
Let's Get Social!
What is a Ganglion Cyst?
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sack of joint fluid that protrudes outside the joint space.
These are benign "bumps" that can spontaneously appear and spontaneously disappear.
Common locations for a cyst to form are on the front or the back of the wrist. They can also occur at the base of a finger.
A visible, contained swelling or bump
Often, cysts are pain-free. However, at times they can be tender and can cause pain with joint movement, or when placing body-weight onto the hand or wrist.
In more severe cases, joint movement may become stiffer and painful.
Common Treatments may include:
Use of a wrist brace, splint or orthotic at night to immobilize the joint allowing the inflammation or pain to go down.
Implementing Ergonomic Improvements & Activity Modification
Avoid activities that cause pain.
Use of Heat and cold
Use cold packs for acute pain or swelling.
Use heat packs to control more chronic pain or relax the muscles.
Wearing compression or Isotoner gloves at night may help control swelling and provide a comforting, neutral warmth.
Perform gentle exercise to keep the joints flexible.
Use of topical pain relieving creams if helpful and as needed.
Modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation and iontophoresis may be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation.
Therapeutic taping may be helpful to reduce pain and provide gentle support.
A short course of anti-inflammatory medications, such as NSAIDs, may be helpful as prescribed by an MD or over-the-counter (Advil, Aleve) if not contraindicated by other medical conditions.
A Cortisone injection may help to reduce inflammation and pain.
A physician may use a needle to try to remove (aspirate) excess fluid.
If conservative treatment methods do not alleviate the symptoms, surgical options may be considered.
Helpful Links for More Information
American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) -
PDF Educational Handout
American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) -
American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) -
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) -
Proudly powered by
Photo used under Creative Commons from
Let's Get Social!