What are the Different Types of Ganglion Treatment?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 06 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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Cysts filled with fluid, often called ganglion cysts, can occur on joints or tendons, especially in the wrist, fingers, or feet. Technically, a ganglion cyst is a benign tumor, which means it is not cancerous, but it sometimes needs to be removed in order to reduce pain or discomfort. The ganglion treatment required usually depends on the severity of the cyst, and whether it is causing excessive pain or restricted movement. Home treatment can get rid of some cysts, but others require either aspiration or surgical removal.

About half of the cyst cases that exist do not require any treatment, as they spontaneously disappear. Cysts that do not cause much discomfort or restriction of movement are often ignored, or not even noticed, especially if they are small. They may go away on their own, and those with this type of joint swelling can deal with any discomfort by applying a warm compress to the affected area. Some people become tired of waiting for the tumor to disappear by itself, so they attempt to break up the collection of fluid by crushing it, such as with a heavy book. This type of ganglion treatment can be painful, and does not guarantee that the cyst will not come back.


Those with particularly large or painful cysts may opt to visit the doctor the minute they notice the issue. One of the first kinds of ganglion treatment a doctor might try is aspiration, which involves putting a needle in the tumor and drawing out the accumulation of liquid. The next step is to inject an anti-inflammatory, and then place a splint on the area to reduce movement temporarily so that it can heal. The cyst may come back after this ganglion treatment, in which case the aspiration would be repeated a few times until the tumor stops returning. Some patients, however, opt for surgery instead, since cysts tend to return less often with this kind of ganglion treatment.

Surgical removal may be necessary for severe cases that cause excessive pain, numbness of the area, and reduced movement. During surgery, the entire cyst is removed, and a splint is often placed on the affected area for up to two weeks while it heals. In some cases, physical therapy is necessary after ganglion cyst surgery. Patients usually find out if this is recommended at their follow-up doctor's appointment to make sure the area is healing properly.



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