Ganglion cysts are small fluid filled sacs that can develop throughout body, but most commonly occur in the wrist. These cysts can develop in the joint capsules of the wrist, reducing strength and restricting mobility and function. In most cases the thick, clear fluid within the cyst is harmless.
Little is known regarding the cause of ganglion cysts. The cysts are more commonly found in women than in men and with people who apply extreme force and stress to the wrists (such as gymnasts).
The most common treatment is to have surgery to remove the cyst and its “stem” that attaches in the joint capsules. Removal of the cyst and stem tends to eliminate re-formation of cyst and is a more permanent solution to the problem. In some instances, the ganglion cyst will disappear on its own over time. Some physicians may choose to drain or aspirate the cyst, but this has often proved to be a temporary fix.
Following surgery, hand therapy is usually prescribed to help recover maximum wrist range of motion, strength, and functions using a variety of exercises and modalities.
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