A ganglion cyst, a soft-to-firm, round growth, is the most common lump of the wrist hand. It may also form on the elbow, knee, foot, shoulder, toe, or finger. It's seen mostly on women, and among gymnasts, sports persons, who repeatedly apply stress to the wrist. 70% of these cysts afflicts people between the ages of 20-40.
The most likely reason as to why they occur, involves a flaw in the joint capsule or tendon sheath following repeated injury that allows leakage of synovial fluid to the surrounding causing the joint tissue to bulge out. The cells present in this area react with the synovial fluid to create the gelatinous, thick, sticky, clear, colorless, jellylike material. 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.
Observation: The cyst does not need to have emergency treatment unless you have significant trauma. A routine check by your doctor is often enough.
Immobilization: Activity often causes the ganglion to increase in size and also increases pressure on nerves, causing pain. A wrist brace or splint may relieve symptoms and cause a decrease in size.
Aspiration: Involves placing a needle into the cyst, drawing the liquid material out and injecting a steroid.
Surgical excision: may be recommend if your symptoms are not relieved by nonsurgical methods, or if the ganglion returns after aspiration.
NOTE: Many cysts can disappear without any treatment at all.