Ganglion cysts are very common bumps that occur in various areas of the hand and wrist. Most people do not recall a specific date they began, but suddenly noticed a raised area. The most common locations are the back of the wrist, the palm side of the wrist, and next to the fingernail (mucous cyst).
Ganglion cysts are comprised of a thick fluid which is usually connected to a joint or tendon by a stalk of tissue, and, therefore, can change in size over time, occasionally completely disappearing.
Thankfully, most ganglions are not painful and can be ignored. Occasionally, they can be very painful and necessitate treatment. Also, some ganglions may be at risk of causing a joint infection if they pop and drain (this is most common in the fingertip).
Ganglion Cyst Treatment
Treatment options vary depending on the location of the cyst. Some can be drained with a needle (known as aspiration). Unfortunately, recurrence of the cyst is common after an aspiration. In some cases, surgical removal of the cyst may be necessary. Even then, there is still a small chance of recurrence.
Diagrams modified from ASSH (www.assh.org)