Chirurgische Praxis Alstertal Heegbarg 14 22391 Hamburg Tel: +49 (0) 40 602 30 06

Ganglion cyst wrist/finger

Hand Surgery and Surgical Practice Alstertal Germany Hamburg Poppenbuettel – Tel:  +49 (0) 40 602 30 06


Protuberance of joint or tendon synovial tissue, filled with joint or tendon grease. It becomes usually larger after some month’es and can cause pain by pressure on the surrounding tissue. At least it is completely harmless, but most patients want removal when the Ganglion is going to grow.

A ganglion is a common, at least not pathological occurance in humans. For principal, it can happen at all human joints or tendon sheets. Most frequent it is at hand or fingers.

Typically, it grows through a gap in the joint capsule. The flexible soft internal joint tissue layer expands, (like a bubble gum), and builds a sort of a balloon, filled with joint grease. There are several reasons for such a gap: Most frequent the reduction of flexibility in aging joint capsules in combination with osteoarthritis, is the reason. Less frequent, a Distorsion with subsequent Gap in the capsule could be the reason. However, almost always it is not possible, to define the reason for a ganglion, and even more, it would have no consequences. There is no way to prevent such a cyst.

Symptome are widespread and differ from each patient as well from the anatomic area. For example, the ganglion at DIP joint is good visible, has a thinned skin surface, and sometimes a minor pain occurs from the local pressure. A Ganglion at the dorsal wrist area, typical patient young woman, is not always visible, it   is situated in the joint capsule. Pain with typical movements is frequent. If not visible, a MRI should be done.

Here some case report pictures


Rare spontaneous regression by obstruction of the gap. Mostly OP needed.

Operativ procedure

Under local anesthesia removal of the ganglion. Depending on the appearance of the Ganglion stitching oft he gap or smoothing of the tendon sheath. Almost 10% Reoccurrence must be accepted. But, operating the second time is not dangerous nor difficult.

What’s next

Mostly flexible plaster. Function usually limited only brief.


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  • Dr. med. Stefan Peters
    Trauma Surgery
    General Surgeon

    Dr. med. Stephan Berg
    General Surgeon
    Trauma Surgery

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