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Treatment Orthopedics

Ganglion Cyst

Most ganglion cysts will disappear without any treatment, and the cysts often return despite treatment. If the cyst is not painful and does not interfere with function, often all that is needed is education, reassurance and management. More aggressive treatment is indicated if a ganglion cyst starts to cause symptoms, gets infected, or is affecting adjacent bones or ligaments. Treatment options include:

  • Aspiration: A large, 16 gauge needle is used to aspirate the cyst. This is rarely a permanent solution. In one study with 34 patients, 59 percent of cysts reoccurred within three months.
  • Aspiration with a steroid injection: This is the most commonly used approach and is thought to be more effective than aspiration alone. Studies have shown cure rates ranging from 57 to 79 percent with this approach.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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