Wrist Cyst Causes, Treatments & More

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By alexander
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Cleveland Clinic medical professional. 'Ganglion Cysts: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment.' Cleveland Clinic, 23 Nov. 2020, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15554-ganglion-cysts
  • 2. Mayo Clinic Staff. 'Ganglion Cyst - Symptoms and Causes.' Mayo Clinic, 9 Jan. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ganglion-cyst/symptoms-causes/syc-20351156
  • 3. Jennings, MD, Charles. 'Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist and Hand - OrthoInfo - AAOS.' Mar. 2013, orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/ganglion-cyst-of-the-wrist-and-hand/
  • 4. Orthobethesda. 'What to Do When a Ganglion Cyst Ruptures.' Ortho Bethesda, 17 Mar. 2021, www.orthobethesda.com/blog/what-to-do-when-a-ganglion-cyst-ruptures/
  • 5. 'Cysts - Ganglion Cysts.' Better Health Channel - Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government Department of Health, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/cysts-ganglion-cysts
Medical Expert Medical Expert

When a cyst appears on the back of the hand or wrist, it's typically a ganglion cyst. These soft lumps under the skin range in size and contain a thick fluid similar to the lubricating fluid around joints. Ganglion cysts grow out from the tissues around joints and are round or oval-shaped.1Cleveland Clinic medical professional. ‘Ganglion Cysts: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment.’ Cleveland Clinic, 23 Nov. 2020, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15554-ganglion-cysts

Ganglion cysts may also appear on the palm side of the wrist or the base of a finger. When they grow just below the cuticle on a finger, they're called mucous cysts. Occasionally, a ganglion cyst may develop on the top of the foot or the outside of the knee or ankle.

What Causes Ganglion Cysts?

Scientists haven't yet discovered what causes ganglion cysts. Some possible explanations include cysts growing out of a joint due to a bulging tendon or tissue. An injury to the tissue or tendon around a joint may cause it to break down, resulting in small cysts. These cysts then join together, forming one large mass.

An MRI of a ganglion cyst shows it resembles a water-filled balloon with a trunk protruding from the area around a joint. Ganglion cysts may range from pea to golf ball size. They may grow larger with joint use and decrease in size when the joint is rested.

Wrist Cyst

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