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How do you treat a ganglion cyst?

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Quick Answer

When a ganglion cyst is not painful, initial treatment may involve keeping a watchful eye on the cyst, states Mayo Clinic. Treatments involve wearing a brace or splint, having the cyst aspirated or, if other treatments fail, having the cyst surgically removed.

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Full Answer

Ganglion cysts are small, round lumps usually located on the wrist and occasionally on a finger or top of the foot, states About.com. They are filled with a thick, jelly-like fluid many believe forms after injury to a tendon or joint in the area. Wearing a wrist brace or splint to immobilize the area allows the cyst to decrease in size.

Aspiration is a procedure in which the doctor uses a needle to drain the fluid from the cyst, explains Mayo Clinic. He may first inject an enzyme into the cyst to make the jelly-like contents easier to remove. Some doctors inject a steroid into the cyst after aspiration to reduce the chances of recurrence. If previous treatments have not worked, a doctor may recommend surgical removal of the cyst and the stalk that attaches it to the joint and tendon. This can be performed with one large incision or arthroscopically, with several small incisions. There is no known way to prevent ganglion cysts, and they can recur even after surgery.

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