Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Ganglion cysts are often painless, requiring no treatment. In fact, in many cases, doctors recommend a watch-and-wait approach. But if the ganglion cyst is causing pain or interfering with joint movement, your doctor may recommend:

  • Immobilization. Because activity can cause the ganglion cyst to get larger, your doctor may recommend wearing a wrist brace or splint to immobilize the area. As the cyst shrinks, it may release the pressure on your nerves, relieving pain.
  • Aspiration. In this procedure, your doctor uses a needle to drain the fluid from the cyst. Before the aspiration, your doctor might inject an enzyme into the cyst to make the jelly-like contents easier to remove. After aspiration, some doctors inject a steroid into the cyst to reduce the chances of recurrence.
  • Surgery. If other treatments haven't worked, surgery may be an option. The procedure removes the cyst and the stalk that attaches it to the joint or tendon. Rarely, the surgery can injure the surrounding nerves, blood vessels or tendons. And the cyst can recur, even after surgery.
Jan. 08, 2013