Does a Ganglion Cyst Require Treatment?

Ganglion,Cyst,On,Woman,Hand,On,White,Background ganglion cyst is a small sac filled with fluid and is relatively common, developing over time or even suddenly. It can form on top of tendons or joint coverings in the wrist, ankle, or hand. Ganglion cysts most commonly occur in patients with osteoarthritis and women aged 25 to 45. Development often occurs when the sheath around a tendon becomes swollen and filled with fluid.

In most cases, a ganglion cyst is harmless and benign. However, they can put pressure on adjacent nerves, causing numbness, weakness, or pain.

If you have a ganglion cyst and are wondering if treatment is necessary, keep reading to learn more.

How To Know if You Have a Ganglion Cyst

The most common place to find a ganglion cyst is on the back of the wrist, but they can also develop on the front of the wrist, the base of a finger, the palm, under a fingernail, or on the ankle.

Treatment for a Ganglion Cyst

The only time treatment is recommended for a ganglion cyst is when it is painful, although some patients seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. Some ganglion cysts go away on their own. However, depending on the symptom severity and size of the cyst, there are two treatment options.


Aspiration is a minimally invasive procedure to drain the fluid from the ganglion cyst. The doctor will insert a syringe into the cyst and drain the fluid out. Sometimes, aspiration is combined with a steroid injection to reduce inflammation caused by the cyst.

To further reduce inflammation, a splint may be used to immobilize the joint, although this has become less common.

Ganglion Cyst Surgery

Surgery may be recommended when a ganglion cyst is very painful, causing numbness or tingling, or interferes with the movement of a joint. This surgery is done under a local anesthetic, completely removing the cyst and any surrounding tissue.

After surgery, physical therapy may be used to rehabilitate the joint. Surgery tends to be more successful in permanently removing the cyst.

Schedule a Consultation at Utah Orthopaedics for Ganglion Cyst Treatment

Set up an appointment for a consultation at Utah Orthopaedics in Ogden, UT, to discuss your ganglion cyst. Call our office at (801) 917-8001 or complete an online contact form.

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