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.
Needle aspiration – monitor.