Wrist Ganglion – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Swelling of the wrist can have a wide variety of causes and many sufferers initially like to dismiss it as “nothing”. It feels soft, the skin above it can be moved back and forth, but in the depths sits a strange bump is noticed. Initially, there is no pain, which for many makes a visit to the doctor seem superfluous. Those affected usually try to avoid further swelling by taking it easy and tackle the problem themselves. But then the swelling appears again – and it grows. As the size of the swelling increases, not only does the Mobility clearly limited, also pressure sensitivity is added. The swelling can become so large that it literally jumps out at you and the person affected should take action.

The good news beforehand: If there is a Ganglion it is absolutely harmless! But what is a ganglion anyway? Let’s take a closer look at this topic.

How does a wrist ganglion develop?

At Joint gap, where two bone ends meet, there is a fluid. It has virtually the function of Lubricating oil and prevents the Articular cartilage rub directly against each other, in which case they would wear out quite quickly.

In the fine Connective tissuewhich encloses the joint, forms a fracture-like protrusioninto which the synovial fluid is pressed. This now gradually develops into a balloon-like cavity (Cyst). Since nutrient exchange is no longer present in a ganglion, the synovial fluid inside becomes a gelatinous mass thickened.

As Cause can be, for example, a general Connective tissue weakness may be possible, for example in connection with increased stress on the corresponding joint. Particular diseases, such as the Arthrosis, can also be triggers. Also Injuries, sprains or other irritations. may underlie the formation of a ganglion.

What are the manifesting symptoms?

A ganglion in itself can be a Skin tightness sensation Cause when it is just growing. Once it is there, it does not hurt per se. It becomes problematic when the fluid reservoir presses on adjacent nerves or vessels, causing Pain, Tingle or a Numbness causes numbness. In such cases, it is advisable to go directly to the office of the experienced surgeon Dr. Bernard and discuss everything else there.


Most of the time, all it takes is a trained eye and a few functional tests, to raise suspicion of a ganglion. To be on the safe side, however, more precise examination methods are offered.

First, a Ultrasound examination Information about the shape and size of the ganglion. A Tissue sample can additionally be taken to rule out other causes of the swelling.

Very rarely, a supplemental examination by Ultrasound probe (Doppler) or a MRI required if, for example, the exact course of the ganglion is to be described before surgery.


A symptomatically caused ganglion may regress on its own if the cause of the joint irritation is corrected and the same is spared. The swelling decreases and no further treatment is needed.

Prior to independently performed Pressure massages must be from medical side strongly advised against should be avoided. Attempts to push the fluid back again or to burst the filled cavity altogether may cause greater damage than the ganglion itself.
Surgical the ganglion can be removed either with the help of a hollow needle “pricked” (punctured), which allows the fluid to drain.

However, due to the high probability that once a cavity is formed, it will fill up again over time, it makes more sense to use this remove altogether. The procedure takes place under local anesthesia takes place. The joint is immediately ready for use again. In special cases, physiotherapy may be helpful in restoring the joint to its full range of motion. After expiration of 14 days all post-surgical restrictions should be overcome.

So if you notice swelling in the area, talk to an experienced physician and clarify the cause. Dr. Bernard will be happy to help you determine the cause and the individual treatment adapted to it. Contact us without any obligation.