Ganglion cysts are noncancerous lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. They also may occur in the ankles and feet. Ganglion cysts are typically round or oval and are filled with a jellylike fluid.

Small ganglion cysts can be pea-sized, while larger ones can be around an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. Ganglion cysts can be painful if they press on a nearby nerve. Their location can sometimes interfere with joint movement.

If your ganglion cyst is causing you problems, your doctor may suggest trying to drain the cyst with a needle. Removing the cyst surgically also is an option. But if you have no symptoms, no treatment is necessary. In many cases, the cysts go away on their own.

Ganglion cyst care at Mayo Clinic

Jan. 05, 2016
  1. De Keyser F. Ganglion cysts of the wrist and hand. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  2. Frontera WR, et al. Hand and wrist ganglia. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  3. Ferri FF. Ganglia. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier, 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  4. Ganglion cysts. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/handcare/Hand-Anatomy/Details-Page/articleId/27970. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  5. Ganglion cyst. American College of Foot and Ankle surgeons. http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/ganglion-cyst.htm. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  6. Amadio PC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 9, 2015.