Do Ganglion Cysts Go Away on Their Own?

Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled lumps that can occur along any joint, but they most commonly develop on the wrists, hands, and fingers. Although typically painless, these cysts can sometimes press on a nerve, leading to pain, tingling, or numbness. In addition, a larger ganglion cyst could potentially impede normal joint movement. Fortunately, most cases of ganglion cysts tend to go away on their own, but if they become problematic, the cyst can be drained or removed.

When drained — a procedure known as aspiration — the area is numbed and the fluid is extracted using a needle. In some cases, however, the cyst can refill, requiring another drainage procedure or surgical removal. For those needing surgery, the ganglion cyst is removed along with part of its root, which connects to the joint or tendon. This reduces the risk of the fluid-filled sac regrowing.

At All-Star Orthopaedics, our team treats a wide range of hand, wrist, and elbow conditions. If you’re concerned about a ganglion cyst or are experiencing issues because of it, Dr. Michael K. Hahn — our hand surgeon certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery — can help you determine the best course of treatment.