If the ganglion cyst is not painful, initial treatment may simply be to keep a watchful eye on the cyst. If the cyst is causing pain or interfering with normal activities, other treatment options can be explored:
- Immobilization. Because activity can cause the ganglion cyst to enlarge, 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. Surgery can be performed through one larger incision or arthroscopically, via several small incisions. Rarely, cyst removal surgery can injure nearby nerves, blood vessels or tendons. And the cyst can recur, even after surgery.
Read more about ganglion cyst treatment.