Ganglion cysts are the most common type of mass or lump in the wrist. These fluid-filled cysts are not cancerous and, in most cases, are harmless. Ganglion cysts may occur in various locations, but most frequently develop on the back of the wrist. They can quickly appear, change size and even disappear without treatment. However, if the cyst is painful, interferes with function, or you find their appearance unacceptable, there are several treatment options.
If you have severe ganglion cysts, you may benefit from surgical removal. However, some cysts never cause pain or limited movement, so they do not require surgery. If a cyst gets large and cannot be treated by other methods, surgical removal can provide relief. This procedure is usually an outpatient surgery, which means you go home the same day. Most often, an anesthetic block is used to minimize pain during the procedure. Pain medications are typically used the first couple of days and then most people can manage with only rest, cool compress application and keeping the affected area elevated.