Fair Oaks Orthopedics

Fair Oaks Orthopedics – Fairfax VA

Ganglion Cysts/Masses

Stephen W. Pournaras, Jr., MD

Ganglion cysts or masses are the most common lumps found in your hands or wrist. These cysts are not cancerous and most of the time are harmless. Ganglion cysts can develop in many locations of your body, but are most often found on your hand or on the back of the wrist, and also may occur in other areas, such as the base of a finger on the inside of the palm. A ganglion cyst is as a soft tissue tumor-like lesion of sticky, colorless jelly-like fluid that can feel firm or spongy to the touch.

These cysts tend to arise from tissue that surrounds joints. They can quickly appear, disappear, and change size.

The most common cause of these cysts is extensive exercise or over use of the joint where the ganglion cyst has formed. This often causes the cyst to get bigger over time. Resting the joint may help it reduce in size or get smaller.

ganglion cysts masses treatment fairfax va
hand ligament injury, Dupuytren's Contracture Treatment

Ganglion Cysts usually form near joints. 3 or 4 ganglion cysts create a mass that often forms on your wrist. They can also form on your ankle and foot.

The fluid in the ganglion comes from a joint or tendon through a narrow channel.

Ganglion cysts are most common in patients between the ages of 15 – 40, although they can develop at any age. There is no clear reasons to support what causes these ganglion cysts to form, but studies tend to show that they may be related to prior trauma or possibly arthritis.

Most ganglion cysts form a visible lump but in some cases they can create smaller masses that remain hidden under your skin. Although many ganglion cysts produce no other symptoms, if a cyst puts pressure on the nerves that pass through the joint, it can cause pain, tingling, and muscle weakness.

If you are experiencing Ganglion Cysts/Masses on your hands and need treatment, please contact us at Fair Oaks Ortho. Dr. Stephen W. Pournaras & our professional medical staff can help you to recover by simply contacting us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ganglion Cysts/Masses

Ganglion cysts or masses are the most common type of lumps found on your hand and wrist. They usually appear on the back of the wrist, the palm side of the wrist, or at the top of the end joint of the finger. They are filled with a clear gelatin-like fluid. Ganglion cysts may change in size, and are non-cancerous.

Ganglion cysts usually are not painful, these are some symptoms you may notice.
  • Appearance of a clear fluid filled sac or lump.
  • Pressure or pain when bending the joint if this cyst or mass is big.
  • Uncomfortable feeling, tingling, or numbness if the cyst is pressing on a nerve.
  • Pain is usually not intense if there’s any pain at all.
Ganglion Cysts / Masses Treatments (Non-Surgical)
  • If you’re experiencing pain -anti-inflammatory medication 
  • Splinting – to decrease the pain.
  • Aspiration – having the fluid in the ganglion cyst removed through aspiration. Which means  the fluid can be taken out of the ganglion using a needle.

Dr. Pournaras may inject the ganglion cyst with a steroid (cortisone) shot.

If your ganglion cyst or mass hasn’t reduced it’s size after 6 months or is causing you significant functional difficulty in performing normal everyday tasks, and if you are experiencing pain, you should call us today for treatment options and possible surgery. Surgery is considered if your cyst is causing you numbness,  pain or restricts movement in your joint.

Ganglion cyst surgery, also called excision surgery,  is an outpatient procedure. Excision surgery removes the cyst by making a small incision to remove the cyst and part of its “root,” which is the part of the cyst that connects it to the joint or tendon sheath. Usually it is performed using regional anesthesia.

After the removal of cyst root (or stalk) it will disappear on its own.

Open excision – During an open excision of the cyst, Dr. Pournaras will make a larger incision on top of the cyst to remove it.


Mon 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Tue 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Wed 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Thu 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sat Closed
Sun Closed

Get In Touch With Us:

Fair Oaks Orthopedics

For over 30 years, Virginia Board Certified Physician, Dr. Stephen W. Pournaras, Jr. has provided excellent healthcare and treatment for his patients. As a multi-specialty orthopedic practice, offering the best for you medically to treat, heal and lead you to optimum recovery. We are dedicated to using state-of-the-art technology while building nurturing relationships with each of our patients.

Contact Us Today.

    Skip to content