Have you noticed lumps on your wrists, ankle, or feet? These lumps can be the effect of a number of issues, one of which is ganglion cysts.

Ganglion cysts are non-cancerous growths made of thick, jelly-like material. They can be as small as a pea or grow an inch in size. Also, they can appear anywhere in the body but are more common on the wrists and hands.

While they may be non-cancerous, ganglion cysts should be removed by a medical professional. Before that, though, here are some questions about ganglion cysts—answered.

1. What Are the Symptoms of Ganglion Cysts?

A ganglion cyst is a benign swelling resulting from fluid buildup. The fluid is thin and not harmful. However, ganglion cysts can cause some tenderness and pain.

One of the first symptoms of a ganglion cyst is swelling. They can start small but they can grow quite large over time. The skin around the cyst is typically hard and tight most of the time. However, when the cyst is inflamed, the skin around it becomes smooth and soft.

The pain and tenderness of a ganglion cyst can be worse in the morning as the cyst may increase in size during the night. It is also common for it to be painful when pressing on it. Also, the cyst can become inflamed and tender after overusing a particular joint.

2. What Causes Ganglion Cysts?

The exact cause of a ganglion cyst is unknown. However, they tend to form near joints and tendons. Some medical professionals believe they can result from injury or trauma.

A common injury that may cause a cyst is when the tendon sheath becomes irritated. The tendon sheath is a protective covering around a tendon, and it may become swollen and inflamed.

As the tendon sheath swells, it can cause nearby tissue to go through the same situation as well, leading to the formation of a ganglion cyst.

3. Who Treats Ganglion Cysts?

Even though ganglion cysts are non-cancerous, they need to be treated by a specialist. Ganglion cysts can grow in size, and if one becomes too large, it can interfere with the function of a joint.

A hand doctor must evaluate the ganglion cyst before recommending a treatment plan. Some may require minor surgery performed by an orthopedic surgeon.

The doctor will cut open the cyst and drain it. Then, they will use stitches to close the cyst back up.

4. What Are Treatment Options for Ganglion Cysts?

Doctors may recommend several treatment options for ganglion cysts. One of the first treatments a hand doctor may recommend is immobilization, which removes pressure from the joint and eases pain.

If the cyst isn’t too big, your hand doctor may opt for aspiration, where they take a needle to drain the fluid and relieve any pressure on the joint.

Lastly is the surgery mentioned above. Your doctor will cut open the cyst during the operation and drain the fluid. They will then use stitches to close up the cyst and stop any liquid from reaccumulating.


While ganglion cysts seem like significant scares, they aren’t cancerous and are non-life-threatening. However, ganglion cysts can cause pain and swelling, so they need treatment from a specialist. Most cases of ganglion cysts can go away through non-invasive methods such as immobilization. However, if the cyst persists, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove it.

If you’re looking for a clinic that offers ganglion cyst surgery in Jacksonville, FL, consider North Florida Hand & Wrist. Our team leaders, Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, are expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons dedicated to providing patients the best care. Book an appointment with us today to get your ganglion cyst treated!