Are volar ganglion cysts painful? (2023)

Asked by: Cristobal Senger

Score: 4.8/5 (71 votes)

Volar retinacular cysts are tender masses (ganglion cysts) that typically present near the base of the finger on the palm side (volar), and, although benign, can cause pain, especially when gripping an object.

How do you treat volar wrist ganglion?


  1. Splinting. The area affected by the ganglion cyst is immobilized. ...
  2. Aspiration. The fluid is drained from the ganglion cyst by using a needle (Picture 2). ...
  3. Aspiration is not recommended on volar wrist cysts. There is too great a risk for damage to blood vessels and nerves in this area.
  4. Surgical excision.

Is a volar ganglion cyst hard?

These cysts can be very small or enlarge to become unsightly. They are not cancerous and may arise as a single cyst or have multiple lobes. Some cysts feel quite hard and may be mistaken for a bony prominence. Ganglion cysts can occur in a variety of locations but they most commonly arise from the back of the wrist.

Do volar ganglion cysts go away?

In many cases, ganglion cysts go away by themselves without the need for medical treatment. Treatment options include surgery or draining the cyst with a needle.

What is a volar ganglion cyst?

Volar ganglion cysts commonly occur near the radial artery in the wrist. They may occur after trauma to the wrist causing a small tear in the volar joint capsule. 1 Because of the tear, the joint fluid escapes and the body builds a small shell around the fluid, forming the ganglion cyst.

28 related questions found

(Video) Ganglion Cyst of the wrist, volar - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

What happens if a ganglion cyst goes untreated?

Ganglion cyst complications

If left untreated, complications can occur. The most common complication is infection. If the cyst fills with bacteria, it will become an abscess that could burst inside the body and lead to blood poisoning.

When should I worry about a ganglion cyst?

Don't be overly concerned if you've been diagnosed with a ganglion cyst. This noncancerous growth develops on your wrist or finger and may look alarming, as it's filled with a jelly-like fluid. The cyst isn't threatening to your medical well-being, but can cause pain and affect your hand's ability to function.

Is heat or ice better for a ganglion cyst?

Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel or other cloth so you don't damage your skin. You can also use a warm compress to reduce pain. The warmth may also benefit you by increasing blood flow and promoting some fluid drainage. If your ganglion cyst has already burst, ice can also help relieve pain at the rupture site.

Is it bad if a ganglion cyst bursts internally?

Yes, ganglion cysts can burst, especially if the area gets struck with force. If the cyst ruptures, the fluid inside spreads under the skin, which you might be able to feel. A rupture isn't dangerous, but it can make the area tender, swollen and sore for a few days. If it's near a nerve, it may inflame it.

Can I drain my own ganglion cyst?

Don't try to pop the cyst yourself by puncturing it with a needle or cutting into it with a sharp tool. Not only is this unlikely to be effective, but can lead to infection or a risk of recurrence.

(Video) Ganglion Cyst Wrist - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

Will a ganglion cyst show up on ultrasound?

Ultrasound can help identify an occult ganglion cyst or rule out other types of tumors. A cyst that causes no discomfort may not require treatment. Most ganglion cysts eventually go away on their own.

What is the difference between a ganglion cyst and a synovial cyst?

Ganglion cysts arise from myxoid degeneration of the connective tissue of the joint capsule, are filled with viscoid fluid or gelatinous material, and have a fibrous lining. Synovial cysts also contain gelatinous fluid and are lined with cuboidal to somewhat flattened cells consistent with a synovial origin.

How long is recovery from ganglion cyst surgery on wrist?

It takes between two to eight weeks to recover from ganglion cyst removal. You may feel better within the first few days, but complete recovery takes about two to eight weeks. Use the operated part carefully and gently after the surgery. Avoid any activities that may irritate the operated area.

Can ganglion cysts cause nerve damage?

Although it can look unattractive, most people don't bother having their ganglion cyst removed unless it interferes with daily functionality, is painful, or especially if it is growing on the dominant hand. At times, ganglion cysts can cause pressure on a nerve leading to numbness, tingling, pain, and muscle weakness.

What causes Retinacular ganglion cyst?

It is unclear what causes ganglion cysts to develop. The cyst grows out of a joint or the lining of a tendon, looking like a small bubble on a stem. They tend to occur when the tissue surrounding a tendon or joint bulges out of place. The cyst is filled with fluid similar to that in joints and around tendons.

(Video) Ganglion Cysts of the Wrist - An Orthopaedic Moment

What is inside a ganglion cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a small sac of fluid that forms over a joint or tendon (tissue that connects muscle to bone). Inside the cyst is a thick, sticky, clear, colorless, jellylike material. Depending on the size, cysts may feel firm or spongy.

Can Urgent Care remove a cyst?

Both aspiration and cyst removal can be performed in an urgent care center. The treatment of the cyst depends on certain factors, including the type and location of the cyst, and also whether the cyst is infected.

Can ganglion cysts be cancerous?

Ganglion cysts are the most common mass or lump in the hand. They are not cancerous and, in most cases, are harmless. They occur in various locations, but most frequently develop on the back of the wrist. These fluid-filled cysts can quickly appear, disappear, and change size.

Are ganglion cysts hard like bone?

Are ganglion cysts hard or soft? People experience ganglion cysts differently. Ganglia are usually (but not always) firm to the touch. Some people report that the fluid-filled cysts as soft.

What kind of doctor removes ganglion cysts?

Your doctor will likely refer you to a specialist in hand, wrist, and elbow surgery, who will perform the surgery. Ganglion cyst removal is usually an outpatient procedure and may be performed under local or general anesthesia.

Should I ice a ganglion cyst?

Ice can help too. Using an ice pack for 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a day can help reduce the inflammation and ease the discomfort. But, if those steps don't work, or if the cyst begins to interfere with daily life, aspiration or surgery might be called for.

(Video) Ganglion Cysts | Causes | Symptoms | Treatments

How do you treat a ganglion cyst without surgery?

Non-surgical Ganglion Cyst Treatment

  1. Medication and splinting - If you're experiencing pain, we may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication and splinting to decrease the pain.
  2. Aspiration - In some cases, the fluid in the ganglion cyst can be removed through aspiration.

How much does ganglion cyst removal cost?

Results: We identified 5,119 patients undergoing open ganglion cyst excision and 20 patients undergoing arthroscopic ganglion excision. The average cost of an open excision was significantly lower than an arthroscopic excision ($1,821 vs $3,668).

Why does my ganglion cyst hurt so bad?

The size of a cyst can fluctuate, often getting larger when you use that joint for repetitive motions. Pain. Ganglion cysts usually are painless. But if a cyst presses on a nerve — even if the cyst is too small to form a noticeable lump — it can cause pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.

What is the best way to get rid of a ganglion cyst?


  1. Immobilization. Because activity can cause the ganglion cyst to get larger, it may help to temporarily immobilize the area with a brace or splint. ...
  2. Aspiration. In this procedure, your doctor uses a needle to drain the fluid from the cyst. ...
  3. Surgery. This may be an option if other approaches haven't worked.
(Video) Ganglion Cyst Of The Wrist - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim


Are volar ganglion cysts painful? ›

While many ganglion cysts can be painless, volar retinacular cysts often cause pain and can affect hand function. Volar retinacular cysts most commonly affect the middle finger, followed by the index finger, ring finger, little finger, and lastly, the thumb.

Can volar wrist ganglion cause pain? ›

Symptoms include aching in the wrist that may also radiate up the patient's arm, pain with activity or palpation of the mass, decreased range of motion and decrease grip strength. Volar ganglia may also cause paresthesias from compression of the ulnar or median nerves or their branches [4, 15].

What are the symptoms of volar ganglion cyst? ›

Pain. Ganglion cysts usually are painless. But if a cyst presses on a nerve — even if the cyst is too small to form a noticeable lump — it can cause pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.

How long do volar ganglion cysts last? ›

Most ganglion cysts go away without treatment. However, some may come back after treatment. It may take a long time, up to 12 to 18 months, before the cyst goes away. If it's not causing any pain, the doctor or health care provider may suggest simply watching and waiting.

How common are volar ganglion cysts? ›

Ganglion cysts are common and make up approximately 60% of all soft tissue tumors affecting the wrist and hand. They usually develop spontaneously in adults between 20 and 50 years of age, with a female-to-male ratio of 3 : 1.

What size is a volar ganglion cyst? ›

The ganglion cyst usually appears as a bump (mass) that changes size. It is usually soft, anywhere from 1-3 cm in diameter (about . 4-1.2 inches) and doesn't move. The swelling may appear over time or appear suddenly, may get smaller in size, and may even go away, only to come back at another time.

Why is my wrist ganglion cyst so painful? ›

Activity often causes the ganglion to increase in size, which may increase pressure on surrounding nerves, causing pain. A wrist brace or splint may relieve symptoms and cause the ganglion to decrease in size. As pain decreases, your doctor may prescribe exercises to strengthen the wrist and improve range of motion.

Is volar ganglion cyst soft or hard? ›

Ganglion cysts are soft, gel-like masses that often change size. They tend to be smooth and round, and are: the most common type of swelling in the hand, wrist and foot. harmless and can safely be left alone.

What is the cause of volar ganglion cyst? ›

Volar ganglion cysts commonly occur near the radial artery in the wrist. They may occur after trauma to the wrist causing a small tear in the volar joint capsule. 1 Because of the tear, the joint fluid escapes and the body builds a small shell around the fluid, forming the ganglion cyst.

Can a ganglion cyst become painful? ›

Ganglions are harmless, but can sometimes be painful. If they do not cause any pain or discomfort, they can be left alone and may disappear without treatment, although this can take a number of years. It's not clear why ganglions form.

What if a ganglion cyst hurts? ›

Ganglion cysts are often painless and need no treatment. Your health care provider might recommend watching the cyst for any changes. If the cyst causes pain or gets in the way of joint movement, you may need to: Keep the joint from moving.

How long does it take to recover from volar ganglion cyst surgery? ›

You can expect some soreness and swelling at the site of your incision for a few days. Remember to elevate your hand above your heart to help reduce swelling and use ice packs to help with discomfort. Most patients feel much better within the first few days, but it takes two to six weeks for a full recovery.


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