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Ganglion cyst

A ganglion cyst is a harmless fluid-filled lump that usually appears near a joint.

Ganglion cysts feel like a smooth lump under your skin. They're most common on the wrists, hands and fingers.

A ganglion cyst often disappears on its own. If it’s causing discomfort, you can get it removed by having the cyst drained or cut out.

Read more on the NHS website.

Ganglion cysts feel like a smooth lump under your skin. They're most common on the wrists, hands and fingers.

Symptoms of a ganglion cyst

Ganglion cysts look and feel like a smooth lump under the skin.

They're made up of a thick, jelly-like fluid called synovial fluid, which surrounds joints and tendons to lubricate and cushion them during movement.

Ganglions can occur alongside any joint in the body, but are most common on the wrists (particularly the back of the wrist), hands and fingers.

Ganglions are harmless, but can sometimes be painful. If they do not cause any pain or discomfort, they can be left alone and may disappear without treatment, although this can take a number of years.

It's not clear why ganglions form. They seem to happen when the synovial fluid that surrounds a joint or tendon leaks out and collects in a sac.

Read more on the NHS website.

A ganglion cyst often disappears on its own. If it’s causing discomfort, you can get it removed by having the cyst drained or cut out.

Medical treatments

Treatment is usually only recommended if the cyst causes pain or affects the range of movement in a joint.

The 2 main treatment options for a ganglion cyst are:

  • draining fluid out of the cyst with a needle and syringe (aspiration)
  • cutting the cyst out using surgery

Read more on the NHS website.