Frequently asked questions on Ganglion cysts of the wrist

How long is one usually on sick leave after surgery on a ganglion cyst of the wrist?

This is a very frequently asked question which is hard to answer, mainly because:

It depends mostly on the kind of activity performed by the patient. Activities which put a lot of strain on the affected area typically require a recovery time of approximately two months. If the patient is at liberty to choose the degree of strain that is placed on the recovering area, certainly the sick-leave will be much shorter.

Please note: The removal of a ganglion cyst is not very hard on the human organism. This can, however, not be said for the marvelous tool which is the hand! Please do take the to-be-expected limitations as far as the mobility of the hand along with the limitations regarding any straining of the hand very seriously, when planning your surgery appointment.

Most patients with average straining activities and regular healing process are able to return to work after approximately six weeks.

 

What are the options if the procedure to remove the ganglion cyst did not turn out as expected?

Prior to evaluate whether a procedure was successful or not, please do allow at least half a year.  The wrist area of a hand is full of pain-sensitive nerves which in connection with an immature scare may lead to lingering symptoms.

In addition, not every swelling of the wrist after surgery on a ganglion cyst has to be deemed a relapse (recurrent cyst). Sometimes the swelling occurs due to an encapsulated hematoma, which only slowly recedes.    

In the case of a recurrent cyst or if even if after six months succeeding surgery the discomfort persists, I recommend to seek the advice of a hand surgeon in order to identify the cause of what appears to be an unsuccessful procedure.

 

 

Who should be performing surgery on a ganglion cyst of the wrist?

Even though ganglion cysts of the wrist are rather common, surgical removal at times may be fairly complicated. It is important that the surgeon you trust is experienced in operating on a hand.

Special attention must be paid to

  • Recurrent cysts
  • Ganglion cysts close to the radial artery

 

Procedures performed on either one of those two diagnoses require specific experience. I do think that a physician should be consulted who disposes of advanced expertise in the area of hand surgery.

 

Am I making a mistake in procrastinating surgery on a ganglion cyst of the wrist?

No! Once the diagnose ganglion cyst of the wrist has been secured, you should not feel rushed into having surgery or having the ganglion punctured. Ganglion cysts are no real tumors. They cannot turn malignant. Based on your demand you may choose to undergo surgery even after many years.

 

Is it possible that a ganglion cyst returns after surgery but in a different location?   

Yes. The root cause of a ganglion cyst is not entirely known. It is however common knowledge that single individuals or members of individual families may develop ganglion cysts more frequently than other individuals.

It has been observed that ganglion cysts occurred on the same wrist but in a different location in these individuals, ganglion cysts appeared on the other wrist, on a finger, on a foot….

Please note:

In concluding I wish to emphasize that any question about ganglion cysts which you may have or which pertain to your personal situation should be further elucidated with your treating physician!

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