Surgical treatment may be needed for a
ganglion that has not responded to nonsurgical
The goal of surgery is to remove the ganglion sac and the connecting
tissue that allows the fluid to collect.
Surgical removal of a ganglion is an outpatient procedure.
Infection and injury to other tissues are rare, but
possible, risks of surgery.
Ganglions return in about 5% to 10% of people after surgery.footnote 1 This may happen if the connecting tissue is not completely
removed. New ganglions may also form in the area.
In a mucous cyst ganglion, bone spurs (small, bony growths that form
joint) are often present in the joint next to the
cyst, and removing bone spurs makes it less likely that the cyst will return.
The chance of infection is higher in mucous cysts.
CitationsAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Ganglion of the wrist and hand. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 488-492. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerHerbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Hand and Microvascular Surgery
Current as ofMarch 21, 2017
Current as of:
March 21, 2017
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Herbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Hand and Microvascular Surgery
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017