©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Ganglion Cyst

Question:

What was the cause of your ganglion cyst? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: LoriAnnWelch, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I have several ganglion cysts but have had no acute trauma when they started 5 years ago. And they have never gone away for 5 years except for when I listened to some ill-gotten familial advice and let my friends hit my hands really hard with my textbooks! Please don't do that! I have 4 ganglion cysts on my right hand, wrist and inside hand. I have 3 on my left hand outside and inside. I have one on the outside of my right ankle. I have a rare autoimmune disorder, the general name is PI (primary immunodeficiency) hypogammaglobulinemia. My immunologist says I'm getting so many ganglion cysts, along with malignant and benign tumors more prevalently because my body doesn't filter lymph cells out of my body properly. I have no idea what that means. I am reading from my doctor paperwork! I am interested in finding anyone who might be able to help me understand all this before I just give him a yes or no about surgery to remove these painful things! Mainly the ones on my inside palms and right wrist. I'm hesitant about even the smallest surgery because I have such a weak immune system, I am very susceptible.

Comment from: Tfenn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I am sure my ganglion cyst was caused by my too tight ring. A big pain because I couldn't get my ring off because of cyst.

Comment from: jojo, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I am from Kenya. I developed the ganglion cyst two years ago after I was stepped on the foot while playing rugby. Mine is quite painful and tender when it occurs.

Comment from: Cyst Sister, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I had a ganglion cyst on my hand a few years ago, and it came back last month. I found that wrapping the hand in an Ace bandage helped to reduce the pain, and in each case, the cyst disappeared in a few days also. The bandage helped me to keep from over-flexing the joint, and I think that the steady pressure pushed the fluid from the cyst. I now have a large cyst on my ankle and I'll try the same. Ace to the rescue!

Comment from: houseoftin, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 14

I am an RN and have cared for infants for 28 years. I have had a ganglion cyst on the top of my left wrist for 2 years. Yesterday I discovered a new one the palm side of my right wrist. They are both painful for 3-4 days then the pain subsides. Unfortunately not both at the same time so I always have pain. I attribute these cysts to tissue breakdown in my wrists from 28 years of pulling diaper tabs from changing diapers 1- 24 times per day! Application of heat does help.

Comment from: Jolson, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 27

My wrist was swollen, but there was no pain. The next morning the swelling went down, but my hand and forearm looked like I had a terrible bruise with a bump on the wrist. The doctor says it is a ganglion cyst, but has never seen a cyst cause such bruising.

Comment from: Find a better life, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I clean buildings for a living. I had to use heavy mops and brooms and twisting the knobs on the scrubber for long periods of time. The daily strain and the repetitiveness is what caused the growth of my ganglion cyst. This caused me to use lighter mops. My doctor said as long as I didn't feel pain in the area of the growth, I would be okay. Four years later, I now am beginning to feel pain. It feels like needles poking into my thumb.

Comment from: Tennis Tess, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I have developed a very small swelling hardly noticeable between my index finger and middle finger exactly below the knuckle. I started playing tennis about 4 months ago and recently played for an hour and a half - nothing heavy, but after an hour of the game, I could hardly drive from the excruciating pain in my handle at the point mentioned and then referred pain to other digits and to my elbow/up the arm. I self medicated with anti-inflammatory for 4 days 3x day and it has helped dramatically, but today is day 9 and I am still in pain.

Comment from: SugKash23, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I have a spongy mass on my forearm at the right middle line closer to the bond. I am a post breast cancer survivor with lymphoma in this arm. I went to my doctor and he diagnosed it as a ganglion cyst.

Comment from: Valleysally41, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I had a fall at an airport that was more embarrassing than painful. After I got up and continued on to the gate, trying to get over my embarrassment, I noticed the cyst on my left wrist, palm side. So obviously mine was caused by acute trauma. It does not hurt, and the doctor said not to worry unless it bothers me.

Comment from: SusieK, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I have a ganglion on the top of my left foot. Surgery was preformed, but it has returned in all it's glory.

Comment from: marco, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 30

I noticed a bump on my right wrist. It was small at first, but as the days went by it grew and became very painful. I went to see my GP who diagnosed it as a ganglion cyst.

Comment from: Jean, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I have a cyst on my middle finger, top, large joint. I am seeing a hand specialist because my doctor is concerned that it may be in the joint and pushing out of the side.

Comment from: margarret, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I believe it was caused by a fall since it became noticeable on the top of my foot shortly after. It did not cause pain for the first two months but is now very tender to touch and walk and wiggle my toes. Back to the doctor I go.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I have developed one on the top of my right shoulder. It is painful and the pain and swelling increases when I exercise my shoulder muscles.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I wore a ring too tight for too many years!

Comment from: Becks, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I am 27 and have had a persistent ganglion on the top of my left wrist since I was 18 years old. Recently I stopped taking birth control and my ganglion has disappeared. I started taking birth control when I was 18. This is the only thing that has changed about my lifestyle recently. Perhaps it is a coincidence but I have tried many things to make it disappear over the years and was considering surgery when it finally went away!

Comment from: Changingbeth, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

My doctor says my cyst was caused by exercise such as yoga but after he drained it the cyst came back. When I talked to my yoga instructor he told me to raise my writs above my head and touch my fingers together quickly for two minutes everyday and that has worked. It went away after about three weeks!

Comment from: The Wolf, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

About two or three summers ago I noticed a pea sized lump on the top of my left knee. It has now grown to the size of a small marble and a slight soreness whenever I stand for long periods of time. I'm going Wednesday to have my doctor look at it and we'll decide on a course of action from there. As for the root cause, my mother has told me that these types of cysts are fairly prevalent on her side of the family. My grandfather had one on his shoulder, my uncle had one on his knee like mine, and my cousin has one on his tailbone.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I was a waitress for many years.

Comment from: windingdown, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I had a ganglion cyst on my inner wrist, I read much about how other fix theirs with heavy books slammed on it, but mine is inner wrist far too dainty to be slamming anything on it I wrapped it with a tight Velcro wrist wrap and kept poking and pressing hard on it. I finally took it off and it did look smaller, but one more final push with my thumb and I did feel an inner pop like thing. It was gone!

Comment from: Angela, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I had a large ganglion cyst removed about 3 years ago from the top of my foot. The cyst returned and quickly returned to the size of a walnut in diameter. Recently the cyst was removed again and it had eaten through 25% of the primary tendon on the top of my foot. Do not under estimate that these cysts can do damage and consult your orthopedist.

Comment from: Lrpsk305, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

My ganglion cyst on top of my foot was extremely painful. After an MRI the report said that the cyst was likely infected. Before I even took my antibiotics, the pain and bump subsided.

Comment from: ankle sprain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I just took an MRI and discovered I have a Ganglion cyst right above my heel towards the back near Achilles tendon. I believe it was caused by a severe ankle sprain two years ago. It does not really hurt unless I'm wearing heels. I'm using an ankle brace and it seems to work. Hope that it goes away since from what I am reading, the cyst returns easily. Doctor suggests giving it time and then perhaps excising it.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

Last Saturday morning, while putting on my socks and running shoes, on my left foot I noticed a lump on the top of my foot, where the foot and leg meet. I went to my doctor and he diagnosed it as a ganglion cyst. He said not to worry about it, unless it starts hurting. Yesterday I noticed one starting in the same spot on my right foot. I am an avid runner, and tend to tie my shoelaces really tight and re-tighten them throughout my runs I am wondering if this could be the cause/ trauma that brought the cysts out. My problem is that my running shoes fit differently now because the cysts are located right near where the top of the tongue of my shoe sits.

Comment from: Maggie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I'm 19 years old and I had a ganglion cyst on the top of my left hand that needed to be surgically removed due to pain and the fact that it was too hard to take out any other way. The surgery helped a lot, but four years later I now have a cyst on my inner wrist of the same hand. I'm going to an orthopedic on Thursday to see what I can do about this one because it affects my grip and hurts to do simple tasks.

Comment from: Remo uche, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 22

I had a ganglion cyst on my right wrist joint, the doctor used a needle to drill out a sticky fluid and it was gone. About a year later I hit my left wrist on a car and a cyst appeared on it days after. I went to the same doctor for the same procedure but this time the lump reappeared days after the doctor drilled it out.

Comment from: kymmie, 45-54 Female Published: April 16

After 4yrs another knot has appeare d will I need surgery again

Comment from: Okcupps, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I developed a ganglion cyst at the base of my thumb. It's from holding my iPad a certain way--the bottom of my iPad rests exactly where my cyst is.

Comment from: Generalbymarraige, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I began taking guitar lessons in the fifth grade and shortly afterward developed a ganglion cyst on the top of my left wrist. It was surgically removed when I was 10. At 18 another cyst developed on the top of my right wrist and again was surgically removed. When I was 33 the cyst on my left wrist returned and again I had it surgically removed. I often wear a wrist brace and find immobilizing relieves the pain for a while. I am considering another surgery.

Comment from: SanDiego4Lynn, 55-64 Female Published: February 21

My ganglion cyst is located at the base of my thumb on the palm side of my right hand. It was incurred as a result of a hard fall down just two steps of my stairs. As I fell, I put out my hand to try to catch myself, and it slammed hard against the railing. It is the size of a pea and it's painful when it's touched in any way.

Comment from: Sherry, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I have had a cyst on my right wrist on the top. This has been here for about four months. I believe it happened when I was falling and caught myself putting my hands in front of me. It is very painful when doing certain things such as twisting a soda bottle, turning the handle opening a door. A friend of mine gave me a brace that I wear at night as it was so painful it would wake me at night if I happened to lay on it. I will have it checked by an orthopedic sports medicine doc. next month. Hope they can do something about the pain and it is really ugly.

Comment from: Felisha, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I've had cysts on the palm side of my wrists since I was around nine. I began playing volleyball when I was around eleven, and these interfere with that. I've had many cortisone shots since then, and I got the cyst on my left wrist removed in January of last year. Today, I went to the doctor because they've been bothering me, and I got another cortisone shot. I don't know how or what caused these, but they're painful.

Comment from: Flight Attendant, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I had a bunionectomy in 2008. Two years later because of swelling in the area it was discovered that the pin which had been placed in the right hallux was working its way out. I had surgery to remove the pin. The pin broke off during attempted removal. Within six months a lump formed at the same site. Because this lump was causing irritation as my shoes rubbed it and I could also feel slight pain at the site without shoes, I had surgery two days ago for removal of ganglion cyst and a small bone spur directly under the cyst.

Comment from: Sally, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have a ganglion cyst on my right ankle. It developed after I seriously sprained my ankle and couldn't walk for two weeks. It affects my flexibility, but overall, it barely impacts on my life.

Comment from: 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: January 09

I am 14 years old and a big gamer. I developed a cyst on the top of my left wrist, it wasn't painful. I saw my regular doctor and he confirmed the fact that it was a ganglion cyst. He told me it would go away within months, but it never did. It got way really small, basically unnoticeable. That was in 2008. I noticed another one on my right wrist, way bigger. In mid-2011. I noticed that while I'm trying to sleep, my fingers on my right hand twitch, and they don't respond as well as they used to while typing or playing Guitar Hero, like it's affecting my hand eye coordination. And the right cyst has also began to ache a couple of days ago.

Comment from: Aimee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I tripped and my foot gave way under me, causing an extreme bend of the ankle. For some weeks after, walking was difficult and the joint area on the outside of the foot was swollen for the good part of the year. Recently, the same thing happened and now it's as swollen as before. Hopefully it will recede again, but there is definitively a weakness there now, that I have to pay attention to when it comes to exercise etc. I've had no medical treatment for the ganglion cyst yet, but will drain it if there's no improvement.

Comment from: kedwards1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I first developed a ganglion cyst on the back of my right wrist when i was about 9 or 10 - I never fractured my wrist or did anything out of the ordinary, although I did start playing squash and tennis at about that age. I had it surgically removed when I was 11 - I still have the scar on my wrist! Unfortunately within a couple of months it had reappeared about half an inch further towards my fingers. I had it syringed when I was about 15, but again it was back within weeks. It disappeared for a while in my mid-twenties (for a couple of months) but then returned. I am now 36, and don't really notice it these days, unless someone points it out - it is very noticeable when my wrist is flexed. I have only ever met one other person who has a ganglion - my husband - his is in the same spot but smaller and his comes and goes.

Comment from: Bijoux, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 13

My husband developed a huge ganglion cyst from playing video games. It never really caused problems, and pretty much disappeared after he stopped playing the game.

Comment from: Jackson, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

I have a Cyst on top of my left wrist. It developed after a summer of running a chainsaw everyday.

Comment from: frustrated limper, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I developed a ganglion cyst on the outside top of my left foot after I slipped on a walkway and my foot smacked into an ice bank.

Comment from: Chris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

I had a hard painful lump on the side of the top of my foot for months. The doctor told me it was a ganglion cyst and that aspirating is not effective, but that rather than surgery, I could apply hard pressure on it to make it rupture under the skin (with the body absorbing the material). I did that off and on for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden as I pressed on it, I could feel it collapse under the skin. Gone. Now I feel another one right next to where it was.

Comment from: RECS, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 19

When I was sixteen I got a ganglion on my left wrist, top. They tried taking aspirating it and it came back was painful, so they removed it surgically. Then when I was eighteen, and doing pushups in PT, my right wrist went out on me, and there it was a ganglion cyst, that one went away for a little while until I was pitching slow pitch softball, I would stand in a doorway and pop it myself. Until it finally a couple of years later came back very painful and wouldn't go away, I've had to have three surgeries for that one.

Comment from: ferde, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

I developed the Ganglion cyst after I fractured my wrist in June. The cyst is rather large and painful. I was told by my doctor that it could go away on its own but I still have it.

Comment from: danella, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I've had a ganglion cyst for 11 years, on the wrist of my left hand. It looks like a small bump, but when i bend my wrist back, the lump looks much bigger, about .8 inches long. I'm skinny, so you can see it in my thin wrist. I was 16 when I first noticed it, my doctor said as long as it doesn't hurt it should not be a problem. She did mention the "bible" method, what they used to do in the old days. No idea what caused it, I'm very active but not left handed. It doesn't bother me. It looks weird when I bend my wrist but I've grown fond of my bible cyst!

Comment from: Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I developed a ganglion cyst after I fractured my wrist.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I recently bought an inflatable kayak. I was rowing where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario. Going out was fine, coming back in was almost too much. I noticed a ganglion cyst at the base of my ring finger on the palm side shortly after. I believe it was the overuse from the rowing.

Comment from: joco, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have recently taken up boxing and wrap my wrists and continuously hit a heavy bag. It is a great workout, but I am most sure that a result of this overuse has caused a ganglion cyst in my left wrist on top. A friend who is a nurse diagnosed, and from what I have read that is a correct assumption. It is soft and squishy and I have absolutely no pain, but nonetheless disturbing. I hope it doesn't get worse.

Comment from: Bill, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 08

I am diagnosed with ganglion cyst on the back of my right hand (the swelling has mostly gone away but the pain has not) and the same on my left hand. Both are quite painful, keeping me awake at night but mostly going away during the day. I am seeking medical further medical treatment and will return to my primary care doctor tomorrow. I am 85 years old, have some arthritis in my back but so far nothing like this. I have been retired for eight years, still cut my own grass and am fairly active during the day.

Comment from: Evelyn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I have had ganglion cyst removal from my left palm and left index finger. The pain is so bad I can't use my hand. I can't make a fist or straighten it out to a flat palm. I believe it is from years of repetitive motion. My line of work as a Peace Officer requires my use of both hands. I do have retraining options if I can get proof of repetitive motion cause.

Comment from: Annie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I think I may have strained my foot, leg by wearing heeled boots whilst working in a shop where I was on my feet for about 4 hours. 2 days later I felt pain in my left leg between my ankle and knee. The pain has got worse and I have had an Ultra Sound and x-ray and have been diagnosed with a small Ganglion Cyst in a tendon. The pain has got to excruciating levels and never goes away no matter what I do and strong painkillers do nothing. I have had major surgeries in the past but never suffered pain like this. My next step is to seek surgical help if this is possible.

Comment from: RowersHands, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 01

I have developed ganglion cysts in both palms. They have appeared slowly over a period of a year or more. I am quite certain that they are a result of gym equipment I have used regularly for years, in particular a rowing machine. I also have a universal weight machine, which could be contributing to the problem when I do arm curls. I'm in excellent overall health for my 60 years, but this is a troubling development.

Comment from: dlove, 65-74 (Caregiver) Published: May 18

In the 70's and part of the 80's I had these cysts on both of my wrists. When my daughter was about 8 or 9 years old, I took her roller-skating. While I was out on the floor, I started falling. I fell face down and I put my hands out to brake the fall. The cyst's disappeared and have never returned. It has been over 20 plus years.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I got my cyst after working on my laptop doing the same repetitive mouse movements for 2 8+ hour days. I had wrist pain as I was working, and noticed the lump a week later. It has popped twice so far and it came back the 2nd time bigger than the first. I am currently waiting to see how big it will come back this third time. Am hoping it won't come back at all, but since it did already once, I am not hopeful. It doesn't hurt after it's formed, but it does ache a lot when it is growing.

Comment from: Monica, Female (Patient) Published: October 05

A few years ago I got a ganglion cyst, probably from being a groomer and over using my wrists and all the twisting and constant holding of the clippers. I had it surgically removed but now it has come back. I hate to get surgery again because it is in the hand I use the most, my right. I may just try the fluid removal this time. Less trauma and able to get back to my normal activities quick. I'm very active. This cyst is on top of my wrist and is painful. Hurts to drive at times.

Comment from: Iholodicted, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

I have had a lump on the top of my right wrist for almost three years. I was told today that it is a ganglion cyst. I need to do something because it is extremely painful. I have to keep my entire right hand, fingers, arm immobile to decrease the pain. The pain and swelling shoots up my arm and into my neck causing pain and swelling there also. I have been taking pain meds for almost 4 years, was told I have pinched nerve in my neck. I have had neck and shoulder surgery trying to stop the pain. Now I am wondering was the problem my wrist (ganglion cyst) the whole time? The pain burns and typing this has made it worse. Does anybody else's cyst pain travel to other places like mine?

REFERENCES:

Edwards, Scott G., and John A. Johansen. "Prospective Outcomes and Associations of Wrist Ganglion Cysts Resected Arthroscopically." Journal of Hand Surgery 34.3 March 2009: 395-400.

Genova, R. "Ganglion Cyst." Medscape.com. Aug. 17, 2015. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1243454-overview>.

Lin, Che-Sheng, Tyng-Guey Wang, Jeng-Yi Shieh, and Wen-Shiang Chen. "Accuracy of Sonography in the Diagnosis of Superficial Ganglion Cyst and Lipoma." J Med Ultrasound 17.2 (2009): 107-113.

Wong, Andrew S., Peter J.L. Jebson, Peter M. Murray, and Stephen D. Trigg. "The Use of Routine Wrist Radiography Is Not Useful in the Evaluation of Patients with a Ganglion Cyst of the Wrist." Hand 2.3 Sept. 2007: 117-119.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors