Treatment of Ganglion Cysts – Some Data on Results

Add – 19oct17

Dominica Garcia, a 54-year-old female, had a ganglion cyst which spontaneously resolved after monitoring for one month. (August to September 2019).

An example of spontaneous regression of ganglion cyst.

As mentioned below in the data on results: “Of the untreated ganglia, 58% resolved spontaneously.”


I don’t have data yet on how long to observe.

About 45% resolve without treatment within six years, and 50% within 10 years.[22]

Clinical treatments for wrist ganglia” (PDF). ROYAL AUSTRALASIAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2018.

ROJOSON WAY: If persistent for more than 3 months or more and is bothersome to the patient, I recommend NEEDLE ASPIRATION.

There is a reported cure rate of 40%, is aspiration; cure rate is 85% when a minimum of three aspirations are performed. [2]

Ganglions of the hand and wrist. J Am Acad Orthop Surg.  1999; 7(4):231-8 (ISSN: 1067-151X) Thornburg LE




Treatment of Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts have been found to recur following surgery in 12% (1) to 41% (2) of patients.

A 6 year outcome study of treatment of ganglia on the back (dorsum) of the wrist compared excision, aspiration and no treatment. Neither excision nor aspiration provided long-term benefit over no treatment. Of the untreated ganglia, 58% resolved spontaneously; the post-surgery recurrence rate in this study was 39% (3).

A similar study in 2003 of palmar wrist ganglion found “At 2 and 5 year follow-up, regardless of treatment, no difference in symptoms was found, regardless of whether the palmar wrist ganglion was excised, aspirated or left alone.”(4)

1.      Gallego S, Mathoulin C. (2010). “Arthroscopic resection of dorsal wrist ganglia: 114 cases with minimum follow-up of 2 years”. Arthroscopy 26 (12): 1675-1682.

2.      Lidder S, Ranawat V, Ahrens P. (2009). “Surgical excision of wrist ganglia; literature review and nine-year retrospective study of recurrence and patient satisfaction”. Orthop Rev 1 (1): e5.

3.        Dias JJ, Dhukaram V, Kumar P, The natural history of untreated dorsal wrist ganglia and patient reported outcome 6 years after intervention. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2007 Oct;32(5):502-8.

4.      Dias J, Buch K. Palmar wrist ganglion: does intervention improve outcome? A prospective study of the natural history and patient-reported treatment outcomes. J Hand Surg Br. 2003 Apr;28(2):172-6.


ROJoson’s Advice:

Needle aspiration – monitor.


Side Notes:

Women are affected three times as often as men.


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